How to Donate to the Cause of Racial Justice

Even as national demonstrations calling for an end to racial injustice begin the thin-out across the country, the fight for a more fair system has only just begun. If you’ve become inspired in the last two weeks by watching the diverse intersection of Americans demanding an end to systemic racism, you may be wondering what is the best way to help the movement.

The short answer: Vote in every election.

But if you have the resources to contribute, consider one of the following organizations working to dismantle systemic racism and bring about justice for all people.

Victim Memorial funds

The following funds have been set up to benefit the families of victims of racist violence

Community restoration

Black businesses have been hit hard both in areas where mass protests led to property damage as well as by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The following organizations help black businesses recover from this tough year.

Police and Incarceration Reform

Broken and racist systems within American police departments have been a central issue of the current civil movement, but law enforcement is just a single facet of a larger criminal justice system that disproportionately punishes people of color. Consider the following groups that are pushing to reform policing and incarceration.

Bail funds

Excessive bail is often used to keep individuals detained as they await trial or an immigration hearing. While those who can afford to make bail can pay to await trial from their homes, those who lack the resources are forced to await their day in court from a jail cell. They are considered innocent until proven guilty. Consider donating to one of the following national or local groups that help those who cannot make bail.

Legal Defense

The legal process can be expensive and difficult to manage, especially for those who come from vulnerable communities. The following groups offer support to navigating the complex systems of courts, and provide legal aid to those in need.

Policy reform

Public protests are critical to making political priorities clear. But the goals of such demonstrations can only be achieved through actual policy. The following groups are working to advance policy that endorses equal justice under the law.

Voting Rights

Of course, policy does not change unless policymakers are held accountable. If you believe strongly in the issues raised by recent protests, it is imperative to vote in every election—national, state, or local. The following groups are working to expand free access to the polls, and to promote social justice-minded candidates.

Georgia Accused of Voter Suppression

Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, has ordered an investigation into what happened to impede voting in majority minority counties in Tuesday’s primary election. Voters in Atlanta faced long queues with some residents waiting as long as four hours to vote. Some areas reported shortages of new voting machines and a lack of back-up paper ballots while technical issues made voting impossible in other areas. This was Georgia’s first election with its new $107 million voting system, which is backed up with paper ballots for the first time in 18 years.

Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went to Twitter to report that voting machines were not working in many cases. “If you are in line, PLEASE do not allow your vote to be suppressed,” she wrote. “PLEASE stay in line.”

Raffensperger, who is in charge of elections in Georgia, called the situation “unacceptable” and promised “to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election.”

In 2013, a Supreme Court decision weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when it removed 60s-era protections that had prevented states and localities with recent histories of racial discrimination in voting, including Georgia, from redesigning electoral rules without federal oversight. The issue in Georgia is whether or not this incident is a matter of incompetence or part of a pattern of voter suppression, one that results from the relaxed rules.