We at Ecotone stand in solidarity with those protesting police brutality against black people, Indigenous people, and people of color, and fighting to eradicate the systemic racism endemic to the United States. We endorse and are thankful for this statement offered by the Offing, which reads, in part:
We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand with the grassroots organizations who have been doing this hard work. WE STAND WITH THE PEOPLE.
Below are some resources for taking action and supporting folks who are protesting, in North Carolina and beyond, as well as communities who continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Emancipate NC’s Freedom Fighter Bond Fund has a long history of supporting activists arrested in civil disobedience in North Carolina. If you like, you can tag your donation to prioritize the bailing out and legal defense of activists working to effect change across North Carolina.
The ACLU of North Carolina works in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. A recent lawsuit they brought seeks an overhaul of Alamance County’s cash bail system, which they argue discriminates against poor people. The ACLU also offers a guide to protesters’ rights.
The National Lawyers Guild South is offering pro bono legal representation for protesters across the region. They are also looking for donations for a fund that invests in a new generation of radical lawyers, advocates and law students; and a community that embraces a politic of black leadership, queer love, immigrants & refugees, anti-capitalism, and disruption of white supremacy culture.
Southerners on New Ground “builds a beloved community of LGBTQ people in the South who are ready and willing to do their part to challenge oppression in order to bring about liberation for ALL people.” Among many actions and events, their Race Traitors summer call series invites white SONG members “to build connection, accountability, and relationship with other SONG members so we can fight together.”
The National Bail Out Collective is a black-led and black-centered collective to end systems of mass incarceration. Because people who are incarcerated cannot practice social distancing, the collective is accelerating its efforts to free people from jails, prisons, and detention centers. Donations help to bail out marginalized folks, with a focus on black caregivers. The organization is currently focusing its funds towards bailing out protestors, providing legal fees, and providing assistance to bail out groups around the country.
Campaign Zero, which is also accepting donations, has a comprehensive guide to policies that aim to correct broken-windows policing, excessive force, racial profiling, for-profit policing, cash bail, and much more. Familiarize yourself with laws in your area, and contact your representatives—at the local, state, and national level—to press them for their plans on ending discrimination in law enforcement.
The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice works with historic black colleges and universities to promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm as it impacts health, jobs, housing, education, and general quality of life. A major goal of the center continues to be the development of leaders in communities of color along the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and the broader Gulf Coast Region, which are disproportionately harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers this Black Lives Matter reading list. We’d encourage you to purchase these books from black-owned bookstores, like Shelves Bookstore in Charlotte, North Carolina, or borrow them from your local library once it is safe to do so again. A number of publishers are also offering antiracist reading for free, including these free ebooks from Verso Books, among them Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter, edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton.
Through the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, set up by the Arts Administrators of Color Network, folks can donate directly in support of BIPOC artists and administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal and temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.
A number of writers and editors are offering gratis support for black writers—manuscript reviewing, editing, advice for pitches, and more. Find a list here.
This post was compiled by Ecotone managing editor Rachel Taube.