I have asked myself the question What can I do? a number of times over the last week. A simple, immediate answer came right into my email inbox: donate. Give money.
Many articles, editorials, and emails I’ve seen from organizations focused on the black community note that they all need money. You may want to do something more personal. I do too. I’ll listen and learn to see what makes the most sense.
In the meantime, I’m also following the lead of my wife, Christina, and daughter, Lillian, by donating money to local and national organizations working to end institutional racism and to change the course of racial and economic injustice in the United States. Here are some primarily Chicago-area organizations for you to consider:
An arts-focused foundation dedicated to rebuilding the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and incite movements of community revitalization that are culture-based, artist-led, neighborhood driven.
The Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF)
Pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County through a revolving fund, CCBF supports individuals whose communities cannot afford to pay the bonds themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence.
Black Lives Matter Global Network
The official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Cook County’s local food bank, which provides food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the Chicago-area community.
Urban Array Foundation
A community development investment platform that bridges that gap between divested communities and social impact investors.
My Block, My Hood, My City
A nonprofit that provides underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood, emphasizing explorations focused on STEM, Arts & Culture, Citizenry & Volunteerism, Health, Community Development, Culinary Arts, and Entrepreneurism.
YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago
The organization is committed to eliminating racism and empowering women, including the support of minority business owners on the South Side and its racial justice programs.
#EatItForward: An Instagram Campaign
@blackpeopleeats and @Discover are partnering on their new #EatItForward Campaign. Discover is giving $5 million to Black-owned restaurants and you can support your favorite Black-owned restaurants. All you have to do is share your favorite Black-owned restaurants and they could get $25K. Share a photo featuring the restaurant, tag @Discover and the restaurant in your post using #EatItForward and #Sweepstakes.
Not sure which Black-owned restaurant to tag? We’re fans of Luella’s Southern Kitchen (@luellassouthernkitchen).
If you have any others, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll continue to compile a list.
Finally and most importantly, vote. The turnout in elections in the U.S. at all levels is dismal even under the
best terms. We can all do better.