Young people and students have been on the frontlines of movements for social change throughout our country’s history. And over the last few days, young people have joined protestors, across age, race, and class, and flooded the streets to demand justice—for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the disproportionate number of Black lives lost to the pandemic, and for the generations of racial injustice that have they endured since this America’s founding.
To the young people—especially the young Black people—leading this charge: Our network stands in solidarity with you. The Roosevelt Institute stands in solidarity with you.
Many around the country have watched in horror as police forces erupted in violence. But as Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote for the New York Times: “[S]tate violence is not solely the preserve of the police.” State violence is inscribed in the rules of our economy and our democracy that have subjugated this country’s Black citizens since the moment of its founding. That is the history we were born into, but that is not the future that we must inherit. As Rashad Robinson notes, “There is no path forward that doesn’t include changing the rules and changing who is in power.” Abolishing racism and building an equitable, inclusive economy and democracy is the long-term fight for us all.
But right now, this moment is one for grief. To seek justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery, and all of the other Black lives unjustly taken from us by police brutality and racism. Here is how you can help:*
- Read the books on this antiracism reading list put together by Dr. Ibram X Kendi;
- Donate to bail funds on this list or this one;
- Support the actions and organizing efforts of groups leading this work, including: the Movement for Black Lives, the NAACP, the NAACP Youth & College Division, and Campaign Zero;
- Use these resources with your children, siblings, or other young people in your lives;
- Be prepared if you join a protest and listen to lead organizers on the ground while there;
- Use this list of resources to decide the best way you can help.
*This list is not exhaustive. If you have other resources or recommendations to share, please do.
Katie, Fernanda, Nicole, Eamon, and the entire network team