Shock, grief, anger, frustration — Atlanta residents have been experiencing a range of emotions over the past few weeks, in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25. It was his death, along with that of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, which spurred thousands of Atlantans to meet in droves across the city and protest longstanding injustices.
The protests continued into June, as Atlantans fight against the injustices that remain. With the recent death of Rayshard Brooks, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Atlanta police on June 13, leading to even more shock and outrage. This outrage to the death of Brooks has been felt by people around the world, but particularly in Brooks’ hometown of Atlanta and elsewhere in the State of Georgia. But outside of joining a protest, or demonstrating their solidarity through social media posts with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, what actions can Georgia residents take to support a more peaceful future where hate and racism no longer abound?
Atlanta-based accomplished entrepreneur Attorney Krystal Moore has tried to provide direction to those seeking an answer to this question. Along with her celebrated career, Moore has assisted with a presidential election campaign, and she has been a volunteer with numerous charitable organizations in the State of Georgia and across the United States.
To effectively support the BLM movement, Attorney Moore encourages people to donate to BLM-affiliated organizations, educate themselves on the history of racism and share those materials with friends and other people within their network. Attorney Krystal Moore details the various ways that Georgia residents can make a positive difference now.
A Brief Overview of the Black Lives Matter Movement
These recent unwarranted deaths have stoked the fire of the Black Lives Matter Movement around the world, as people everywhere are engaging in protests to battle systemic racism, says Attorney Krystal Moore.
It was back in 2013 that the #BlackLivesMatter was initially birthed through an “Open Love Letter to Black People”, written by Oakland-based community activist Alicia Garza, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman; the self-proclaimed neighbourhood watchman who murdered unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Garza had ended the public Facebook letter with: “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” Those last three words were amended by fellow activist Patrisse Cullors, to the viral hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
According to Pew Research Centre, that hashtag was used nearly 30 million times between its inception in 2013 up until 2018.
But now within the span of one month, following the death of George Floyd, those three words were used roughly 47.8 million times on Twitter, according to Pew — accounting to an average of 3.7 million times per day.
Donating to Non-Profits
- Project South: building relationships with organizations and networks across the US and global South to inform their local work and to engage in bottom-up movement building for social and economic justice.
- Black Lives Matter Atlanta: working towards criminal justice reform, political empowerment, and economic empowerment of African Americans.
- SONG (Southerners on New Ground): a political home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, abilities, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South.
- Malcom X Grassroots Movement: on a mission todefend the human rights of African Americans.
- ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union): founded in 1920, ACLU strives”to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
- PAWKids: providing meals to families in Atlanta’s Grove Park community who are experiencing financial insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent political upheaval.
- SOS (Save OurSelves): providing aid to families affected by racial injustices, empowering African American youth, and uniting the community through outreach initiatives.
Along with making your own donation to one or more of these organizations, Attorney Krystal Moore encourages people to promote them on social media to build greater awareness about these initiatives and to encourage others to donate as well.
- Join a Protest: public protests are crucial to the visibility and success of civil rights campaigns, says Attorney Krystal Moore. Even during age of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests can still take place, with face masks and social distancing measures enforced. But if you do decide to join a protest, ensure you educate yourself on the First Amendment soyou are aware of your rights as a protester. While the First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain restrictions on the exercise of speech rights.
- Questions and discussions: Renowned educator and anti-racism activist Jane Elliott has devised the Commitment to Combat Racism that people can freely view on her website, to evaluate their current awareness and understanding of racism. People are encouraged to also share the questions with friends and family, or even engage in a group discussion around the questions.
- Books, films: NPR has crafted a list of movies, books and podcasts that can educate people on the history of systemic racism and oppression of African Americans. Attorney Krystal Moore recommends the Code Switch podcast which, explores the race and culture stories in breaking news, along with chapters in America’s complicated racial history.