Anti-Racism Resources: Learn & Take Action

6 min read.

We are taking a stand against police brutality, systemic racism, and discrimination in solidarity with the Black community through learning, introspection and taking concrete action.

To start, we have donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, an organization that seeks to achieve racial justice through structural changes with litigation, advocacy, and public education.⁠

We chose the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund because we recognize that the often violent discrimination the Black community experiences at the hands of police authority is systemic and there must be structural changes made for progress to occur.

We are engaging in difficult conversations within our team and personal networks to discuss how we can do better and are committed to looking inward as an organization and as individuals.⁠

We encourage you to also take action by educating yourself, initiating difficult conversations, amplifying Black voices, speaking up in solidarity, and donating to foundations that support the fight for equality.⁠

Over the last few days, our team has come together to share information internally about anti-racism. We came across some helpful resources to help us in our journey, and are sharing them in hopes they will help yours too.

Supporting this movement doesn’t stop with sharing online. We must learn from the organizations leading the fight, seek further knowledge for our own growth and act by signing petitions and donating to fundraisers.

LEARN: ORGANIZATIONS

Start here. Read up on the fight against racism from the ones who are leading the cause.

Black Lives Matter

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc 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.
BLM combats and counters acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy. Read this document with plenty of educational resources, petitions, and events to learn about.

NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The mission of the NAACP 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.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

Black Visions Collective

BLVC is a black, trans and queer led organization committed to dismantling systems of oppression.

“Since 2017, Black Visions Collective has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota.

We aim to center our work in healing and transformative justice principles, intentionally develop our organizations core “DNA” to ensure sustainability, and develop Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns.

By building movements from the ground up with an integrated model, we are creating the conditions for long term success and transformation.

Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all.”

National Police Accountability Project

NPAP is a non-profit to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement and detention facility personnel. The central mission of NPAP is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

“With over 500 members and growing, we continue to effect change in the flawed legal system and fight to put an end to police brutality of all forms. NPAP does not provide legal representation to victims of law enforcement misconduct. If you are looking for an attorney, please visit our Attorney Referral Listing and feel free to contact us if you require additional referrals.”

Black Mental Health Alliance

BMHA's mission is to develop, promote and sponsor trusted culturally-relevant educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities.

SEEK: FURTHER KNOWLEDGE

There is a plethora of knowledge from Black thinkers exploring the topics of racism. Here are some of the most influential books that we have been recommended to help expand our perspectives. Consider purchasing these books from a Black-owned online bookstore.

  • “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo

    “Intersectionality brings people face-to-face with their privilege. People, in general, do not like to recognize the ways in which they may be unfairly advantaged over other people.”

    ― Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
    • “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

      “Americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy. It's a pretty easy mistake to make: People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.”

      ― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

      • “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad

        “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

        ― Layla F. Saad, Me and White Supremacy
      • “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander

        “Martin Luther King Jr. called for us to be lovestruck with each other, not colorblind toward each other. To be lovestruck is to care, to have deep compassion, and to be concerned for each and every individual, including the poor and vulnerable.”

        ― Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
      • “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge

        “Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can't afford to stay silent.”

        ― Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

      ACT: PETITIONS AND FUNDS

      Photo by Dania Maxwell, Getty ImagesPhoto by Dania Maxwell, Getty Images


      Let's put our pens and money where our mouth is. It’s great to share knowledge, but a signature in support is free and any funds you can spare is welcome.

      On this page you’ll find the #WeAreDoneDying petition calling for justice for George Floyd and the arrest of all the officers involved in his murder.

      You’ll also find a list of NAACP’s demands on Criminal Justice, Economic, Health and Voting Policy changes to work towards reform that will ensure the protection and fair chance for life and livelihood for Black communities, as well as an opportunity to write to your congressional representatives to make your voice heard.

      “We need legislation now 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.

      We have seen over and over police officers get off, even with videotape footage of citizens having been shot by police officers. This is a new form of lynching. I am pleading with you to propose a bill that protects people who have every right to feel threatened by law enforcement. We always say we need more training for those involved in public safety, and there are increasing policies and laws that mandate that police officers have “body cameras” on them. Those measures do not address the whole problem, not when the individual officers who shoot unarmed victims aren’t punished.”

      Sign and support the proposal of the Hands Up Act Bill.

      Across the country, our people are not only in the middle of a health crisis we are also bracing for a long and hard economic recovery. Movement for Black Lives, and Black organizations from across the country, are demanding and fighting for what needs to be done right now to stop the spread and lasting harm of COVID-19 but we are also demanding a recovery that benefits everyday people, not just big corporations. We know that historically, from the Great Depression to Hurricane Katrina, disaster response has excluded and criminalized our people. The response to this crisis must be different. We demand not only immediate relief and a commitment to long term recovery and the structural changes needed to meet the needs of all our people.

      Join us in calling on Congressional leadership to ensure that future action prioritizes our communities over corporations and pushes back against the use of militarization in our communities as a response to this crisis.”

      Sign the Movement for Black Lives’ petition to push elected officials to fight against the militarization in communities of colour.

      • DONATE TO INITIATIVES:

      NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
      NAACP Empowerment Programs
      Black Lives Matter
      Communities Against Police Brutality
      Homeless Black Trans Women Fund
      Justice for Regis Korchinski Paquet

      Justice for Dion Johnson

      These are just a few of resources, organizations, foundations and petitions to get started, learn, and show support against racial injustice. 

      We must find our strength in unity standing together with the Black community against injustice and for our common humanity.

      Thank you for doing your part.

      To learn more about Vessi and our commitment to the community, visit our website and the #MakeWaves Community Fund page. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

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