1. Support your local black-owned businesses. Head on over to the Official Black Wall Street, type in your town, and see what local black-owned businesses are near you that you can support. For example, right here in Princeton is Arlee’s Raw Blends, an organic cold-pressed juice shop. Whether it be through a donation, or the purchase of a product, you can support the people of color in your community any time you want.
2. Consider your own privilege. It’s important to pay attention to the ways in which the color of your skin has fueled and impacted your life. Ask yourself, how many times have you been the only person of your race in the room? How many times have you been stopped by police for no reason? How many times have you been followed in a store unnecessarily? Understand that these are scenarios that your friends of color are very familiar with, and while you may not be able to walk in their shoes, you acknowledge your differences and you stand with them.
3. Listen and be an effective ally. The key factors in being an effective ally are accountability and partnership. Be there for your friends of color, check in with them emotionally, and hold yourself accountable. Spend your time educating yourself and diversifying your knowledge constantly, not just when there is a tragedy.
4. Support the causes you believe in. There are a myriad of organizations that exist to support the Black community and even more that have mobilized overnight. Some seek your advocacy and others are looking for your volunteer hours and philanthropic support. Consider which aspects of this movement are most important to you and support the organizations that further the cause!
5. Educate yourself. Try not to rely on your friends of color to educate you, take it upon yourself to educate and expand your knowledge and awareness. There is no shortage of books, podcasts, or Netflix series to learn from, so choose the medium in which you will best absorb the information and begin.