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There are an incredible amount of organizations doing important work right now, and it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to direct your immediate attention. In the spirit of helping you gradually digest your options, and in hopes of potentially introducing you to some causes you might not have heard about yet, we’re briefing you on 5 initiatives to consider each week; while donating is not (and should not be) the only way to affect positive change, it is a 100% helpful practice if you have the means, and is a great habit to get into year-round.

Reclaim the Block

Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis-based initiative to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that are actually effective in keeping communities healthy and safe. Minneapolis City Council is moving to disband the police department, and as this city embraces big changes, it’s going to need our support. When we say organizations to donate to NOW, this is THE ONE.

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With a surge of new followers and donations since MPD murdered George Floyd, we wanted to introduce ourselves, our work, and how we are situated during this time. Reclaim the Block came together in the fall of 2018, anchored by the leadership of Black Visions, to demand that Minneapolis move money out of policing and into community-led safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind, and we organize community members to build a vision of, and movement toward, a thriving, well-resourced, police-free Minneapolis. We organize around policies and strategies that reduce investment in police and build resources that create real safety. Police reform has failed to bring any meaningful change to the violence that police commit against Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, immigrant, and disabled communities. We focus on shrinking the power of police, not changing their image or training. We want Minneapolis to invest in affordable, dignified housing, accessible mental health services, community violence prevention, and youth services as resources that actually make people safe. Police don’t keep us safe. We take leadership from @blackvisionscollective within our coalition and build on a foundation of the local work of the Movement for Black Lives and @mpd_150 . We are also aligned with and inspired by organizations around the country like @criticalresistance, @byp100, SONG, Survived and Punished, and @therednationmovement . If you’re interested in police and prison abolition, join us in learning from these groups. We had a major win in 2018 when we organized the City Council to move $1 million out of the police department and into violence prevention programs. In 2019, hundreds of community members spoke out to demand the City make a bold divestment from policing and investment in community safety. Mayor Frey and the City Council didn’t listen: they unanimously passed a budget that included an $8 million raise for the police. Read up on that fight here: bit.ly/RTB2020summary *continued in comments*

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Casa Ruby 

If you’re looking for a cause to support during Pride Month, definitely consider Casa Ruby; the organization is run by trans women of color, and it offers a wide variety of services to LGBTQ+ individuals including preventative health, mental health support for survivors of violence, immigration services, youth support, housing and social services and more. It’s bilingual and multicultural, and it’s also local, based right here in DC. 

National Black Justice Coalition

The NBJC is another great LGBTQ+/SGL organization to support during Pride Month; it focuses on fighting federal policy-based initiatives that weaken family units and communities while simultaneously working to eradicate homophobia within the Black community, citing “Building Stronger Black Families” as a central goal. It’s very much rooted in intersectionality, and smartly seeks to bridge “the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ/SGL equality” in its approach.

Color of Change

Color of Change does very important work by addressing injustice from a variety of angles, with focuses that include criminal justice, tech justice, economic justice, culture change and media justice, voting freedom and more. By challenging racist and anti-progressive policies and patterns and holding corporations and politicians accountable, they are able to build power and create real change for Black communities. The current campaign, “State of Emergency: End the War on Black people!” is working directly to make policy changes for investment in healthy communities, rather than policing, something we should all absolutely be getting behind right now.

One Common Unity

One Common Unity is a DC-based nonprofit that engages underserved youth with high-impact music and art programs, as well as peace education; their aim is to create compassionate, healthy communities through these outlets, breaking cycles of violence and poverty through creative empowerment. Currently, OCU is running a campaign for mental health services related to the impacts of Covid-19; the fundraiser will help kids receive free counseling, and all of the donations up to $15,000 will be matched. A great way to support DC-area youth.

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — MLK, Jr. This isn’t just a Black and White issue, or an American issue. Racism is a global pandemic, and it brings me hope to see people from all around the world come together to fight for justice and equality. We must continue to stand united against white supremacy, bigotry, and police brutality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ESPAÑOL “La injusticia en cualquier lugar es una amenaza a la justicia en todas partes". MLK Jr. Este no es un problema de blanco y negro, o un problema estadounidense. El racismo es una pandemia mundial y me da esperanzas de ver a personas de todo el mundo reunirse para luchar por la justicia y la igualdad. Debemos seguir unidos contra la supremacía blanca, la intolerancia y la brutalidad de la policía. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #BlackLivesMatter #RIPGeorgeFloyd #RIPAhmaudAbrey #RIPBreonnaTaylor #SayHerName #NoJusticeNoPeace Thank you for standing in solidarity ✊🏾 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gracias por estar en solidaridad ✊🏾 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #ocu #igdc #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #creativedc #socialjustice #climatechnage #apeacefuldc #selflove #stopschoolviolence #dclife #dcpublicschools #dcps #intentionrooms #communityhealing #safespace #endgunviolence #lgbtyouth #youthjustice #savethemusic #peaceeducation #artheals #elevatepeace

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Where have you been donating lately? Is there someplace close to your heart that you’d like us to talk about? Email [email protected] to get in touch.