Ways You Can Help RIGHT NOW: Organizations and Resources to Help Black Communities in Illinois
Updated: Jun 19
Many Illinoisans woke up this week to a seemingly different world. Protests that began last week over the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white Minnesotan police officer took root all over Illinois including Chicago, Peoria, Springfield, and Rockford in the last week. As we, and the rest of Illinois, reflect this week and untangle our own attitudes and emotions, it is equally important to take action.
The NASW-Illinois Chapter has collated a brief list of resources and organizations to which you can contribute donations or your time. If you have a resource you recommend, add the link here. We hope the events of this past week will help to spark the change that is much needed across the US. Rather than sitting back and asking ourselves, “What happened?” we hope the list of below resources will better answer the question, “What have I done to end it?”
WAYS TO HELP
Join a protest but remember, you’re there to be an ally. You are there to listen and to learn and to follow the leadership of the black folks, to follow the leadership of the marginalized. If you aren’t able to attend a protest….
Donate to bail and legal funds.
Donate funds to organizations that benefit people of color.
My Block, My Hood, My City: Seeking volunteers to assist with graffiti removal, glass replacement or general construction.
Support Black-owned businesses.
Directories to Black-Owned Businesses
Apps for Finding Black-Owned Businesses Near You:
Black Nation app: A Black-owned business discovery app
Official Black Wall Street: A Black-owned business discovery app
WeBuyBlack: buy products from the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses
Follow and share content from prominent social justice advocates on Twitter.
Please don’t flood popular hashtags on this movement; rather amplify the voices of existing advocates.
Finally vote, and get involved politically. As we have seen all too well, the power of President Trump’s bully pulpit can be used to bring us together or promote hatred and discord nationally. Who has that power on our city or village council, county board, or state legislature? We need to be reaching out to our elected officials and demanding change.
Suggested advocacy topics:
Demand your school district remove officers from our schools and put in social workers and restorative justice programs.
Demand that your city implement an alternative to 911 for mental health calls that send mental health professionals and not law enforcement.
Demand your state legislators work with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to pass meaningful legislation to address inequity.
Demand that our governor utilize his political capital and resources to direct funds and push policies to address inequity in our communities.