Ivy Yahnke is a journalism senior. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
Thousands of San Luis Obispo citizens have mobilized to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the past two weeks. In addition to protesting, people can support the fight for racial equality by donating and signing petitions.
Here is a list of organizations to donate to and petitions to sign.
Organizations to Donate to:
RACE Matters Slo
RACE Matters Slo is a “black-led, multicultural organization that works to keep people of color in the majority of our steering committee.” RACE Matters Slo “prioritizes the voices, views, and needs of Black, and other people of color within our organization and in the community.” They “believe in transformation, the dismantling of oppression in order to achieve racial justice, invite white people to challenge White supremacy — both personal and institutional, stand with all marginalized and oppressed groups, and celebrate diversity and push for inclusion, equity, and justice.” You can donate directly to RACE Matters Slo through their website and the RACE Matters Slo Go Fund Me page started by Simonne Michelson and Justin Trabue linked here.
SLO Bail Fund
Created by San Luis Obispo chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), SLO Bail Fund covers bail and legal costs for protesters arrested during the current wave of demonstrations. While DSA SLO started and administered the fund, their efforts are in support of RACE Matters Slo, who “have been at the front of organizing most of the local protests,” they wrote in an Instagram message. Bail funds are currently set at $0 for nonviolent crimes due to the pandemic, so this fund will go towards legal fees for those arrested. DSA stated, “Additionally, we’ve been blessed to find a handful of lawyers willing to work with the protesters pro bono, so none of the money we’ve raised so far (a little over 1,300 dollars) has been spent.” You can donate to the SLO Bail Fund at the link in their bio on their Instagram.
Black Lives Matter
Founded in 2013, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is “a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.” You can donate directly to BLM and their campaigns for justice through their website.
San Luis Obispo branch of the NAACP
NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Their mission statement is “to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons, and to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.” You can donate directly to the San Luis Obispo branch of the NAACP through their website.
The national foundation of the NAACP has received lots of support and asked that people donate to other organizations.
The Justice Coalition is a “grassroots 501 (c) 3 nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of innocent victims of crime in a five-county area of Northeast Florida.” Their mission statement is “to advocate for innocent victims of violent crime, educate victims about their rights in the justice system and work with law enforcement to make our communities safer.” You can donate directly to the Justice Coalition through their website.
The ADL’s mantra is “fighting hate for good.” ADL is “a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion.” They stand in solidarity with the Black community, according to their website. You can donate directly to ADL through their website.
Equal Justice Initiative
Equal Justice Initiative is a private nonprofit organization that “provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.” EJI is “committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” You can donate directly to EJI through their website.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’s mantra is “Building an America as good as its ideals.” It is “a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.” You can donate directly to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights through their website.
Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund
Organized by Bianca Austin, the Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund has raised over five million dollars to support Breonna Taylor’s family and to fight for justice for Breonna. You can donate directly to the Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund at their Go Fund Me page.
George Floyd Memorial Fund
Organized by Philonise Floyd (George’s brother), the George Floyd Memorial Fund has raised over 13 million dollars to support George Floyd’s family and to fight for justice for George. You can donate directly to the George Floyd Memorial Fund at their Go Fund Me page.
Campaign Zero is an organization committed to “ending police violence in America.” As stated on their website, “Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.” You can donate directly to Campaign Zero through their website.
National Bail Out
National Bail Out is a “Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.” You can donate directly to the National Bail Out fund through their website.
Petitions to Sign:
Justice for George Floyd Petition link
A petition seeking justice for George Floyd and his family, directed at “trying to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately,” according to the petition description. You can sign the Justice for George Floyd Petition at the link above, where over 16 million people have signed.
Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition link
A petition seeking justice for Breonna Taylor and her family, directed at having “charges filed immediately, [having] her family paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD, [having] Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speak up on behalf of Breonna, [having] Governor Beshear or Attorney General Daniel Cameron appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately, and [having] a special session intervened by Congress to discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants immediately,” according to the petition description. You can sign the Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition at the link above, where more than 5 million people have signed.
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery Petition link
A petition seeking justice for Ahmaud Arbery and his family. The petition description states, “No one has the right to pursue, attack and kill an unarmed, non-threatening individual. Ahmaud’s voice will be heard. In an effort to seek justice, please sign the petition expressing your concern.” You can sign the Justice for Ahmaud Arbery Petition at the link above, where close to three million people have signed.
Raise The Degree Petition link
A petition directed at removing bail for Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd. You can sign the Raise The Degree Petition at the link above.
Reclaim The Block reclaimtheblock.org
Reclaim The Block is an organization that “began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.” This organization “believes health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.” You can sign the petition on their website (listed above) that calls action to the Minneapolis City Council “to pledge to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in the resources that really keep us safe and healthy, especially in Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color.”
Hands Up Act Petition link
A petition proposing “legislation that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. If there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot (therefore, unarmed) by a police officer, then I propose that the officer should receive a mandatory 15-year prison sentence,” according to the petition description. You can sign the Hands Up Act Petition at the link above, where over two million people have signed.
These funds and petitions listed only scratch the surface of the ways you can support Black Lives Matter. Here is a link being shared on social media with more petitions to sign, places to donate and resources to utilize that support the Black Lives Matter movement.