George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25th, 2020. Since then, protestors have gathered across the world in defense of Black lives in a call to end systemic racism and police brutality. The struggle to end police brutality has been a long and painful one, and we, as a society, need to acknowledge that we have been complacent in letting people in positions of power literally get away with murder.
We at TunnelBear were appalled by the deaths of not only George Floyd, but Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and every Black person murdered by police. We’re ashamed it has taken us so long to speak out in defense of Black lives. While we have a history of fighting for people that don’t have a voice, we have no excuse for our silence at such an important moment.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a global force that deserves your support and attention. These murders are not isolated incidents. The daily abuses of power police inflict on Black people are disgusting and cannot be tolerated.
We admit, we are not experts in this field. However, the past few weeks have shone a light on the importance of using our platform to amplify collective voices, and adding our voice to the growing community of people who've had enough. We affirm our commitment to listen, unlearn implicit biases, and assist the Black community in any way we can to help center voices that have long been denied that freedom.
You can help
There are resources available for you to add your voice, from active support on the streets, to financial support for people that have been wrongfully thrown in prison for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and speech. There are educational resources if you feel like you just don’t know how to help, or what the problem even is. There are even resources to help raise funds for legal aid if you don’t have the ability to donate money.
We’ve broken out lists of resources by type. Please use them to educate yourself, others, and be part of the solution.
Incredible efforts offering support to protestors and journalists
- Electronic Frontier Foundation guide on attending protests in the age of COVID-19
- US Press Freedom Tracker is keeping track of journalists covering the protests who have been arrested or assaulted
- Fight for the Future’s protestor digital rights checklist
- Support the Cities are cleaning up the damage left behind by the protests
- @themarchives is making care packages for protestors
- Women for Political Change is organizing food drop-offs
- The Free Hugs Project is organizing a clean-up effort
- Read Vice’s guide for protesting safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
On Anti-Racism and Allyship
Here is an excellent directory that’s making its way around the internet filled with resources intended to help white people engage with Anti-racism work in order to become better friends, colleagues, parents, and allies:
Please circulate this document with your network.
We also appreciate the The Innocence Project’s article on how the legacy of slavery impacts mass incarcerations.
Mental health resources for those in the Black community navigating these difficult times
- Sista Afya - Mental wellness education, resource connection, and community support for Black women
- Inclusive Therapists - Inclusive therapists directory, including reduced fee options
- Black Virtual Therapists Network - Mental health directory of Black therapists
- Therapy for Black Men - Therapists and coaches for Black men
- Melanin & Mental Health - Therapist directory and mental wellness podcast
- The Loveland Foundation - free mental healths support for women of colour
Organizations you can support
Here’s a few organizations that our TunnelBear family has donated to over the past few weeks, we encourage you to also support their important work if you have the means.
- MOODI (Mobile Outreach and Outdoor Drop-In) which believes in community strength
- The Bail Project which combats mass incarceration by paying bail to those in need
- The Loveland foundation which supports unique initiatives for women of colour
- Black Lives Matter Toronto
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Chicago Community Bond Fund
- Unicorn Riot which is an educational nonprofit media organization
- Act Blue bail fund for protestors
- Urban Alliance which runs equity and anti-racism education workshops
- Black Visions Collective which strives for healing, transformative justice
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- Black Health Alliance which works to improve the health of Black communities in Canada
For those of you who’d like to support Anti-racism in Canada, here are a few great resources
- The Huffington Post compiled an extensive list of Canadian Anti-racist groups you can help
- Directory of local Bail funds - a collection of community resources for protestors around the country.
It might be difficult to know where to start, or you may feel like you’re just one person, but one of the best things you can do is get involved with a local activist group and affect change today. Whether you donate your time or money, every bit helps move us towards a just and fair society, where everyone feels safe, respected and heard.
- The TunnelBear Team