Many of us are wondering how we can help in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. For over 100 years, YWCA St Paul has been working to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We know from our work to educate and advocate on issues of racism and racial justice, and from our programs that help people overcome disparities in housing, employment, and youth development, that it will take the concerted efforts of concerned communities to achieve real change. We hope that the list below inspires you to participate in the fight against racism and injustice.
- Protest peacefully.
- Contact your elected officials to insist on accountability for the police officers responsible for George Floyd’s death.
- Actively support change to the laws and policies that keep alive the over-policing of African American communities and excessive use of force. For example, push for action on Minnesota Task Force on Policing’s recommended reforms on excessive use of force.
- Sign petitions demanding change.
- Attend clean up events. Use the Events tab on Facebook to find nearby events as needs vary.
- Speak out against racism and injustice in conversation, on social media and in the communities that you belong.
- Encourage others to register and vote. Register now and remember these issues when you vote on Election Day. You can register to vote online right now by clicking here. You will need an email address and either a state-issued ID (MN ID card or MN driver’s license) or the last 4 digits of your SSN.
- Take care of yourself and create time and space to grieve and heal.
- Take flowers to George Floyd’s memorial.
- Support local Black and immigrant-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of local Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, compiled by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
- Volunteer or donate to nonprofits working to address racial disparities in employment, income, health, education, housing, and incarceration. YWCA St. Paul has programs addressing racial inequities in housing, employment and youth development. You can support our work at ywcastpaul.org/donate.
- Organizations and businesses across the Twin Cities are collecting donated items to share with communities that are experiencing hardship. This map can help you find places that are accepting donated items.
- Help local community organizations and small businesses rebuild. Click here for a list curated by CityPages.
- Listen to people with different backgrounds and life experiences.
- Diversify the media and entertainment you consume. Discover new social media feeds. Read fiction and non-fiction books written by Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Listen to Black musicians. Find TV shows and movies that center Black voices and perspectives. Be intentional about identifying new content to consume.
- Attend a workshop to learn about combating racial injustice. Our sister association YWCA Minneapolis regularly hosts racial justice workshops; click here to view upcoming events.
- Learn about the history of racism and race relations in Minnesota. Recommended resources include: