This MLK day, rather than just posting up a quote on social media, get involved by donating to one of these five organizations that help African Americans throughout the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. serves as an inspiration to decent people everywhere, but if you’re above the whole thoughts & prayers idea, consider getting involved. Donating to a charity that helps African Americans is a better way to show your support, even if it’s just $5 or $10 to start.
- Black Lives Matter
One of the most famous activist groups, Black Lives Matter, formed in 2013 after the death of teenager Trayvon Martin at the hands of a white supremacist. They organize communities, create rallies, sponsor speakers, and spread the word when there’s an injustice in the community. You can either invest in some BLM gear, like a hat or t-shirt or just donate whatever you can.
2. TransWomen of Color Collective (TWOCC)
Providing a safe community for trans women of color, TWOCC uses their resources to create workshops and drives that empower women and help provide funding for health and wellness, survival, and education. One of the best organizations that help African Americans, it is entirely member-driven and operates around the globe. Considering that people of color have disproportionate rates of homelessness, trauma, under-employment, and state-sanctioned violence, TWOCC uses community funds to provide the appropriate care where it’s needed.
3. Trayvon Martin Foundation
Their mission is to put change into action by organizing and rallying the media when senseless deaths occur. They help students in areas struck by poverty get access to science and tech programs, in honor of Trayvon, who was avidly interested in the subject. Toy drives, giveaways, college scholarships, access to support groups for mothers and fathers, and a host of other worthwhile services – the Trayvon Martin Foundation actively participates in communities.
4. Pennsylvania Prison Society
Working to end mass incarceration in the US, the Pennsylvania Prison Society focuses on raising funds for families that are trapped by the legal system. They advocate for better prisons, fairer treatment in the court system, bring in volunteers to visit inmates that don’t have family, and help individual families with a variety of issues. They boast the fact that they’ve been around for nearly two centuries, playing a large role in prison welfare throughout the years.
5. National Black Women’s Justice Institute
Working to reduce the racial and gender disparities across the justice system by advocating for better policies, NBWJI is helping women across the country. They partner with universities and educational organizations to improve outcomes for women and girls affected by criminalization and economic turmoil. With programs that fight domestic violence and gender-based violence, educational programs for teenage girls, and an advocacy program that looks for job-opportunities for women of color, NBWJI is an excellent place to donate.
Let’s be real – words are great but money is what counts. There’s a ton more charities than the ones mentioned above, so if none of these float your boat, you can keep looking until you find one that does. In addition to donating, if you’re going to do some online shopping while you’re home from work today, you can check out any of these Black-owned brands, including Fenty Beauty and Adorned by Chi.
Yelena Mandenberg is a staff writer at Grit Daily with a passion for news of all sorts. From Brooklyn, NY, she shares an apartment with her cat and tortoise and freelances full-time. Taking on projects big and small, Yelena loves helping small businesses expand their marketing and websites.