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I feel helpless and powerless. What can I do?

We are all functioning on different levels across a spectrum of experience, education, and understanding. While dealing with issues of race and society it is important to take time out to sit with yourself and organize your thoughts.

Below are some starting points of how you can be helpful to yourself and others. This list will change and grow as many of the posts on here will.

  • Listen to Black and non-White voices.

  • Educate yourself about anti-racism, racial injustice, social structure and policies through reading, listening to audio books or podcasts, watching videos and documentaries, and talking with others.

  • Keep a journal of your thoughts and explore how your ideas change over time. Explore your own misconceptions of race.

  • Have conversations with family and friends.

  • Confront racial injustice even when it feels uncomfortable within yourself and with others.

  • Contact your local public officials and find out what they are doing. Where are they lacking? Demand action to assist in change for the better.

  • Look and ask for ways you can participate in supporting and helping your community at the local level. SURJ has many local networks and helpful resources.

  • Attend community meetings.

  • Organize gatherings and neighborhood councils to establish group goals, ways to deal with issues, and share purpose.

  • Support BIPOC businesses and organizations.

  • You can donate to bail funds to support protesters and other organizations like Color of Change Education Fund, Campaign Zero, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective.

  • Protests - This may not be for everyone. Especially those that have health conditions, are immune-compromised, if you are around the elderly, experience social anxiety, are easily overstimulated, etc. It's OK to not physically be outside. Ask yourself and others about what you do best and how you can contribute your service within your skill set. If you are protesting outside, please check out the advice below in a feature by Alexandra Tsuneta "You are white and you can weaponize that privilege; if you are at a protest please put away your phone and be present. Put your body between cops and Black and brown bodies because cops are far less likely to brutalize and murder you. Nobody needs to see that you were there, you being there is action in itself, but while you are there make sure to be putting yourself into spaces where you are needed. White progressives, stop co-opting this movement — it is not for you. You are at these protests in solidarity. If your voice is louder than the voices you are supposed to be amplifying, you are doing it wrong. I was at a protest last Sunday and I could not believe that I actually had to tell people to be quiet while Black leaders were making speeches. This kind of behavior is unacceptable. Listen more than you speak. Please read this article on how to be a good white ally at a protest. It is so important to do this work before you get out there! Remember, not all chants are for you, not all symbols are for you — you are there as an ally, so be a good one and listen to the Black voices around you."

If you want to see and support change toward a better civilization and society then your participation is essential however; it must be appropriate.
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