Demonstrations over the May 25 death of George Floyd continue across the country and New York City. For those seeking additional ways to advocate for antiracist policies, police accountability, and racial justice, we’ve compiled a guide to local NYC organizations that are advocating against institutional racism and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. While this list is not complete, these resources hopefully can serve as a starting point to help New Yorkers navigate as allied communities during this time.
The Audre Lorde Project
The Brooklyn-based organization advocates for LGBT people of color and issues surrounding social and economic justice reform in New York City. Named for LGBT advocate and poet Audre Lorde, the Audre Lorde Project (ALP) oversees a number of programs to support minority communities, including the Safe OUTside System (SOS) Collective, which promotes community support without relying on law enforcement. Support the ALP by donating to the movement or become a member of the organization.
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York
The Black Lives Matter of Greater New York has been protesting against racism and police brutality for years and their work continues a leader in the current movement. Working to empower black communities throughout New York, the organization focuses on education, civic engagement, and direct action. Get involved by following BLMNY on social media, attending an event, or donating.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Founded in 2015, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund fights against the incarceration of communities of color, as well as low-income and immigrant communities. The group is currently providing bail to those arrested in protests against police violence and demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund raised $1.8 million from more than 50,000 donors within 24 hours after asking for support. After an immense outpouring of donations, the fund will now direct efforts to other community members and bail funds that need support, including Free Them All For Public Health.
Communities United for Police Reform
The local “Change the NYPD” campaign calls on increased NYPD accountability and transparency across the five boroughs. The organization is currently advocating against police brutality and is pushing for lawmakers to cut the city’s NYPD budget, which is about $6 billion. Support CPR by following @changethenypd on Twitter for updates, attend an event, volunteer, or donate.
Committee to Protect Journalists
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been at least 125 violations of press freedom over three days of protests across the U.S., even in New York. Tyler Blint-Welsh, a Wall Street Journal reporter, said he was hit in the face with riot shields by NYPD officers. New York-based CPJ works to promote press freedom worldwide and defend the right of reporters to cover the news safely without retaliation. Support the group by donating online and following the organization on social media.
A fund to support black journalists’ mental health has also launched this week. Money raised through the GoFundMe will provide resources for black reporters who are covering racial injustices and need support in processing “trauma incurred both on the job and in daily life,” according to the fundraiser.
Emergency Release Fund
The Emergency Release Fund pays bail for incarcerated LGTBQ and medically vulnerable New Yorkers who are on Rikers Island or detained by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement. The fund, a member of the National Bail Fund Network, has paid bail for 160 people in New York and paid over $900,000 in bail funds since the COVID-19 pandemic hit NYC. Get involved by volunteering with the group or by contributing to the fund.
Mutual Aid Funds
Local neighborhood associations have popped up across the city to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers during this time. Mutual Aid NYC has put together a crowd-sourced directory of resources by neighborhood, including on Long Island, along with contact information and with information on how to help. NYC Black Mutual Aid has also been directly supporting black New Yorkers during the pandemic.
While it currently is not accepting any contributions, the organization recommends donations be made to the Black Feminist Project, Grow Brownsville, The Okra Project, Equality for Flatbush, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
One of the longest-running civil rights law groups continues to advocate for racial justice through litigation, education, and advocacy. In addition to calling for police reform, the fund is also working to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus on black communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the virus in NYC and across the country. Support their fight for racial justice by donating here.
The Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society provides legal services and works to ensure “justice for all New Yorkers.” Whether it’s defending the incarcerated and fighting for racial equity or working to reform policy, the Legal Aid Society pledges to support every day and low-income residents across the five boroughs. The organization has also released helpful guidelines on the rights of those currently protesting police brutality. You can donate online, volunteer pro-bono, and spread their mission on social media.
New York Civil Liberties Union
As the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU works to protect the inalienable rights of New Yorkers, including freedom of speech, press, petition, and assembly. The NYCLU is also pushing for lawmakers to repeal the law known as 50-A that shields police disciplinary records from the public. You can send a letter in support of repealing 50-a to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local leaders here. Donations to the NYCLU can be made here.
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