Stronger Together

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On Monday, May 25th, a white Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on a black man named George Floyd’s neck until his body went limp. It was all caught on camera. George gasped that he could not breathe, but Chauvin did not let up. George passed from his injuries in police custody. In March, police in Louisville, Kentucky, burst into Breonna Taylor’s apartment in the middle of the night. They shot the 26-year-old eight times, killing her in her own home. In February, two white men gunned down Ahmaud Arbery while he jogged through their Georgia neighborhood. The pair admitted to fatally shooting Arbery, but were only arrested for his murder in May.

George’s death sparked worldwide outrage while Breonna and Ahmaud’s deaths further demonstrate the continued police brutality and rampant racism in the United States. In our hometowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, we have seen massive protests, uprisings, and riots since George’s death while demonstrators around the world have gathered to demand justice and immediate action to stop racist policing and violence.

Why as food/health bloggers are we even speaking on police brutality and racism? Because it affects everyone whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. We are humans and these are humanitarian issues which need to be addressed. Our largest platform is our Instagram account and we have spent the last week watching, listening, and trying to share the right resources to help our keto/low carb community join or continue fighting systematic racism and police brutality in America.

We took some time to reflect on how we have both hurt and helped the fight against racism against BIPOC prior to the events of last week and had a lot of conversations (both comfortable and uncomfortable) with our friends and families. We came to the realization that going back to normal will never be the answer – because normal wasn’t working – so we have to be better at creating a new normal, one that promotes equality and justice within our society and legal system. We know that within the space where our business and blogging resides, we must uplift our BIPOC peers and fellow creators. We will do this through providing more resources for our keto baes and also introduce our audience to new voices, products, and brands.

RESOURCES

We totally understand that not everyone can be out on the frontlines protesting for civil rights. There are a lot of things you can do both on and offline – sourced and truncated from https://www.thecut.com/article/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html

Honor Breonna Taylor’s Memory.

  • Breonna Taylor would’ve been 27 years old on June 5th.
  • Take a look at the list of demands on FightForBreonna.org, curated by Taylor’s family. By signing the petition, you can signal your support of the Taylor family’s request that Louisville mayor Greg Fischer and the City Council take stock of systemic bias and overuse of force within the city’s police department. You can also call or email the mayor’s office, telling Fischer to ensure charges are brought against the officers — Black Lives Matter has instructions on exactly what to say — and while you’re signing petitions, you might also consider this one at Change.org, which makes additional asks that Taylor’s family be paid damages, and that Congress convene a special session to ban “no-knock” warrants, which allowed the police to barrel into Taylor’s apartment.
  • There’s also a GoFundMe for Taylor’s family, which will help cover their legal costs, make up for some missed work, and generally offer extra support.
  • https://www.thecut.com/article/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html

Demand police accountability from your legislators.

Make ending police brutality a litmus test for your political support. 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.

If you’d like to support accountability in the Minneapolis Police Department specifically, Reclaim the Block — a Minneapolis organization devoted to reallocating the city’s money away from the police department and toward “community-led safety initiatives,” to which you can also donate — has a petition that asks the city council to defund the police force, freeing up resources to promote the safety and health of the city’s marginalized communities.

You could also research how much of your city’s budget goes toward its police force, and demand your local lawmaker move to cut that spending and reallocate it towards other crucial areas, like housing, education, and public health. Divest-invest initiatives are underway, for instance, in New York CityPhiladelphia, and Los Angeles — visit their websites and get involved. They have information on which lawmakers to contact, as well as sample scripts of what you might say.

Make a donation.

If you have money to spare right now, consider making a donation, however small it might seem to you. As you make decisions about where to send money, consider our guide on how to make sure you’re donating effectively. The Minnesota Freedom Fund, the Brooklyn Bail Fund, the Northstar Health Collective, and Free Them All for Public Health have recently begun asking donors to redirect their funds to other non-profits amid an outpouring of support: check to make sure your organization of choice is still soliciting donations beforehand.

Pilar Weiss — director of the Community Justice Exchange — says that donating to local, grassroots formations is potentially the most impactful way to prioritize funds. Larger, national organizations tend to attract more resources, so it’s worth doing research into who’s operating in your community. “A lot of times the groups that need the most support don’t have fancy website and don’t have a communications team,” she explains. Talk to friends, families, houses of worship to figure out who is working on the issues you’d like to address, and then ask those people what they need.

Direct aid for victims’ families:

• George Floyd’s family has started a GoFundMe to cover funeral and burial costs; counseling services; legal fees; and continued care for his children. There’s also a GoFundMe to provide for his 6-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd, and a GoFundMe to support “peace and healing” for Darnella Frazier, the woman who filmed Floyd’s death.

• Another GoFundMe is raising money for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, donations to which will similarly fund the family’s legal battle.

• There’s a GoFundMe for Breonna Taylor’s family, to help with legal fees and offer extra support.

• There’s a GoFundMe for David McAtee’s mother and family: McAtee was fatally shot just after midnight on June 1, after police officers and National Guard members fired into a crowd of people who were not taking part in the evening’s protests.

Bail funds: ActBlue has a page that will let you split your donation between 38 community bail funds, or if you’d like to focus your donation directly, here are some options.

• The Bail Project, a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.

• The National Bail Fund Network also has a directory of community bail funds to which you can donate, along with a COVID-19 rapid response fund.

• Another list of bail funds is available here, and another list of bail funds by city.

Support for protesters:

• A Gas Mask Fund for black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.

• The Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund is raising money for physical resources, bail, and medical care for black, transgender protesters, which will be redistributed to black, trans-led organizations “in the event these funds don’t need to be used.”

• The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.

• The Legal Rights Center is a non-profit law firm based in Minneapolis, offering legal defense, educational, and advocacy services.

• Black Visions Collective, a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

• The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in black and brown communities, set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protestors.

Organizations working against mass-incarceration and police abuse:

• Communities United for Police Reform is an initiative to end discriminatory policing in New York, helping to educate people on their rights and document police abuse.

• Showing Up for Racial Justice works to educate white people about anti-racism and organizes actions to support the fight for racial justice and undermine white supremacy.

• Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.

• No New Jails NYC aims to keep the city from constructing new jails, and to instead divert funds that currently go toward the police and incarceration toward housing, ending homelessness, mental health, and other community support systems.

Community support:

• MOODI (Mobile Outreach and Outdoor Drop-In) is an initiative of the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis, providing immediate response and resources for people currently without shelter.

• We Love Lake Street is gathering donations for small businesses and non-profits on Lake Street in Minneapolis, to help with the clean-up effort, as is the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

• The Okra Project combats food insecurity in black trans and gender-nonconforming communities. It set up two funds — the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund, for trans men, and the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund, for trans women — to help cover the costs of mental health therapy sessions with licensed black therapists. You can donate money here, and learn about donating services by following the links above.

• Mutual aid funds are a good place to send community support amid a pandemic. Find more info on where to look here.

• Fair Fight, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams that aims to end voter suppression and equalize voting rights and access for fairer elections.

Join a protest, if you feel you can do so safely.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, or if you have been exposed, or if you live with or regularly come in contact people who are at particularly high risk of contracting the virus, the best thing to do is to isolate yourself. And while it is generally true that we should continue to keep our distance from others right now, the desire to show up for your community and your loved ones is understandable. For many people, police brutality poses an immediate risk to their health and well-being, and potentially also a fatal one.

So, if you decide to participate in a local protest, wear a mask. Bring hand sanitizer, and if you can, maybe pack a few extra water bottles, for yourself and for others who might need them. Try to maintain as much distance from others as possible, and not to touch anyone else if you can. Keeping in mind that the coronavirus appears to spread primarily through droplets expelled when people talk and shout and sneeze and cough, do your best to keep your mouth covered, and to refrain from chanting if you find yourself in close quarters with others. Check out our guide to protesting safely; our tips on what to do if you’re exposed to tear gas; and this basic first aid guide.

Offer resources to protestors and affected communities in your area.

As protests flared around the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last weekend, neighbors offered participants water, food, and stoops to sit on during the demonstration. If you have the means, you might consider picking up some extra bottles of water, food, masks, hand sanitizer, and other supplies ahead of protests in your area. Providing these basics is one way to help support the cause, even if you don’t feel like you can safely join in yourself.

Or, you could pick up extra groceries, household supplies — detergent, paper products, diapers, baby food, menstrual hygiene products, cleaning products, first-aid equipment — PPE, and find a donation point in your area. For example: In Minneapolis, where public transit has closed and many stores have been damaged, food pantries are in need of donations. Hunger Solutions has a list; Pimento Jamaican Kitchen is gathering supplies and looking for volunteers; or you can find a pop-up pantryWomen for Political Change also has information on supply drop-offs and donation options in the Twin Cities.

Look into donation efforts in your city, and if you have a car, consider volunteering to drop off supplies to people in need. Ask yourself: “What do you have available?” Weiss suggests. “Is it money, is it resources, is it connections? Sometimes it can be these really small things, like, do you have meeting space you can donate to somebody? Can you be a driver for somebody?” Donating doesn’t always have to mean money.

Help with a clean-up effort.

You can also help by supporting businesses owned by people of color in areas where they’ve been damaged. In Minneapolis, community clean-up events started over the weekend — the Free Hugs Project launched rebuilding efforts last weekend, for example, and Support the Cities has information on Lake Street clean-up initiatives and grocery drop-offs — and will be ongoing. Volunteers will need shovels, trash bags, brooms, gloves, water, and whatever other supplies they can contribute. Things like plywood may also be useful.

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