The anti-racism protests following the recent killings of Black people at the hands of police have sparked an ongoing conversation against racism and police brutality. But while it’s important to speak out in the moment, you may be looking for more ways to be actively anti-racist — and one way that might help is by joining an organization already working for a cause you believe in. Here are 20 anti-racism organizations to join, because there’s power in numbers.
Beverly Tatum, Ph.D, president emerita of Spelman College, previously told Elite Daily that joining an anti-racism advocacy group can help you effectively fight for change you believe in. “Find a group of like-minded others to support you on your journey. Houses of worship may have such groups being formed; employee resource groups in the workplace may be a source of support, or community organizations like Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) can be useful,” Tatum explains. Che Johnson-Long, director of decarceration strategies at the Racial Action Justice Center in Georgia, also previously told Elite Daily the advantages of joining such a group. “The difference between being an activist, who shows up to protests and creates visibility around issues, and being an organizer, who works with a sustained group of people who creates long term demands and goals, is pretty vast," she says. "Find a group in your city who does work that you like, and join them."
Anti-racist organizations may advocate for causes like police reform or abolition, racial justice in police killings, bail equality for Black Americans (or the dissolution of all bail), economic justice, or specific changes in policy on local and federal levels to support Black communities. Some anti-racism groups work to educate non-Black people on the inequalities Black people face on a daily basis, such as the lack of funding for majority-Black schools or the way racism can impact daily life. Meanwhile, other organizations work to build Black leadership by advocating for political, economic, and educational equality, such as The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as campaign for local policy changes such as police reform or advocating for new laws.
Below are some anti-racist organizations you can join if you want to amplify your fight. Many of the groups are open to all people, while some are specifically for Black and non-Black people of color. This list is not exhaustive, however — so if you don't find one that works for you on this list, don't give up the search.
1. Voices for Racial Justice
Voices for Racial Justice (VRJ) was founded in 1993, and it works with leaders, organizers, and culture workers with the goal of a world free of racism. Based in Minnesota, VRJ honors Black power, culture, and knowledge, while also promoting healing for Black and non-Black people of color through organizing, leadership training, putting together community public policy proposals, and researching issues within its local public policies. VRJ’s goal is to nurture the Black and non-Black community while moving toward restorative racial justice. You can join here.
2. Resource Generation
Resource Generation is a multiracial community of members ages 18 to 35, who have wealth or class privilege and are working to fight for an equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power by giving away their own money. Working through a combination of organizing, education, chapter events, conferences, local campaigns, and community awareness, Resource Generation teaches its members how they can give away some of their wealth to work toward resource equity. Members of the group are asked to give to grassroots organizations working toward wealth equality, including those fighting for affordable housing and equality in educational opportunities. Resource Generation is open to anyone. You can find a local chapter here.
3. YWCA's Stand Against Racism
Stand Against Racism from YWCA raises awareness about the negative impacts of institutional and structural racism on a national level, which helps build a community for racial justice. Standing Against Racism has an annual campaign conference in April focused on the importance of using voting rights, census participation, and civil engagement to fight against systemic racism. There are YWCA locations across the nation, events you can join, as well as the option to host your own Stand Against Racism event once you've registered as a member. Community events provide information, increase awareness, and give allies the chance to band together in solidarity. Anyone can register to join Stand Against Racism here.
4. Southerners On New Ground
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) promotes the liberty and safety of LGBTQ Black and non-Black people of color, as well as white LGBTQ people in the South. The Atlanta-based group develops leadership, community organizing projects, and campaigns, with the focus of bringing together marginalized communities to work for justice and equality for all. SONG also promotes stories of LGBTQ liberation. The organization welcomes all members, including non-LGTBQ allies. Join SONG here.
5. Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition
The Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) is a Seattle-based organization committed to ending racism. NPARC spreads information, best practices, and resources to encourage other non-profit groups to work together and eliminate institutional racism. The group has suggested budgeting for anti-racism resources in the city of Seattle, and offers sponsorships, scholarships, and networking events, as well as quarterly race-based caucuses for its members. Anyone can join here.
6. Color Of Change
Color Of Change is a nationwide, online racial justice organization with over 1 million members working to create an equal society for Black people in America. Its campaigns are aimed at building Black power in communities, and include social justice issues such as advocating for criminal justice reform, voting freedom, the fight against white nationalism, and a call for economic justice and equality, such as equal wages for Black people. Color Of Change is open to all. As a member, you can take action by signing petitions from member campaigns or start your own. Join Color Of Change online here.
7. The National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) remains one of the largest civil rights organizations in the United States. The NAACP works to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for Black people, put an end to race-based discrimination, and ensure the health of Black people. As a member, you can work alongside other activists in your community at a local NAACP branch, advocate for law and policy changes in your community, and attend regional conferences. Join your local NAACP unit here.
8. Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter organizes protests across the nation advocating for an end to systemic racism in the United States and is open to everyone. You can find local chapters throughout the country, including chapters in major cities such as Boston, Nashville, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. When you join a local chapter, you can help enact local laws in your own community, which may include a call for police accountability, reform, or other social justice issues. Find your local chapter to join here.
9. The Audre Lorde Project
The Audre Lorde Project is an anti-racist group for Black and non-Black LGBTQ people of color based in Brooklyn, New York. The organization promotes community wellness and leadership skills to assist in the fight against racial and gender-biases. The Audre Lorde Project also confronts issues such as systemic racism in the justice system or LGBTQ discrimination in community shops or churches, which oppress communities of Black and non-Black LGBTQ people of color,in hopes to change power structures that perpetuate inequality. You can apply for membership here, with three membership options. Two membership options are open to all people, while the core membership option is specifically for members of the Black and non-Black LGBTQ community.
SisterSong is an Atlanta-based anti-racist group for Black and non-Black women of color who are calling for reproductive justice and equality. SisterSong brings attention to several racial issues such as disparities in reproductive rights in Black and non-Black communities, including marginalized groups such as the LBGTQ community by organizing marches, rallies, petitions, and social media campaigns to help enact change. Individuals who join the group get access to SisterSong's toolkits, recorded webinars, and a discounted cost for attending conferences and local events. Join SisterSong here.
11. National Urban League
The National Urban League fights for the civil rights of Black people and others in underserved communities by promoting economic empowerment through education, job training, housing, and community and workforce development. Anyone is welcome to join as a member. The National Urban League — headquartered in New York City — has outreach at both national and local levels, working with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate partners across America to promote equality for Black individuals through social programs and policies. You can join a local chapter affiliate in your state or sign up to become a part of National Urban League's digital community here.
12. Rainbow Push Coalition
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) focuses on addressing multiple issues to protect, defend, and gain civil rights and equality in education and economics. Though open to everyone, this civil rights organization has a focus on Black equality issues. PUSH — headquartered in Chicago, Illinois — has offices in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California, and New York, New York. RPC hosts events throughout the year. Sign up for a membership here.
13. Dream Corps
Dream Corps is on a mission to open more doors of opportunity for marginalized communities of Black and non-Black people of color, fighting for freedom and equality for all. Dreams Corps advocates for reducing incarceration rates, implementing prison reform, and strengthening communities toward equal opportunity. The organization has helped release 7,000 people from prison on early parole as of November 2019, due to its success in passing the First Step Act in 2018, which shortens the mandatory minimum sentence for nonviolent drug offenses. Anyone can become a member of its empathy network. Members can get involved in local, state, and federal level policies, access resources, attend events, and network with other members nationwide.
14. The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond
The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is open to everyone. The organization utilizes a broad-based movement for social transformation, with anti-racist principles such as power analysis, leadership development, and accountability. PISAB hosts programs and workshops, and you can get involved or join here.
15. Amnesty International
Amnesty International fights for civil rights for all, and has helped free marginalized groups, such as Black and non-Black people of color, from detainment, including those seeking asylum, immigration, or those who were imprisoned while exercising their rights, such as engaging in non-violent civil disobedience at a protest. The organization works in civil rights through political campaigns, advocating for policy changes, and advocating for changes to refugee laws. The group stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism principles, and is currently calling for an end to police brutality. Amnesty International has student or local groups across the country. To find one, go here.
16. Communities United Against Police Brutality
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) fights against police brutality and works with survivors to provide healing, with the ultimate goal of ending brutality and racial bias toward Black and non-Black people of color. The organization educates on the harms and abuses in the criminal justice system, and advocates for policy changes in the city. Anyone can join as a volunteer here.
17. Black Queer & Intersectional Collective
The Black Queer and Intersectional Collective is a grassroots organization based in Central Ohio and works in partnership with the Columbus Freedom Coalition. The group fights for the liberation of Black queer, transgender, and intersex people, as well as helps the Black community with access to affordable healthcare and housing through community campaigns. You can become a member here, or apply as an ally, here.
18. Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE) LA
Based in Los Angeles, California, Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE LA), is made up of white anti-racists and activists who fight for social justice for Black people, in alliance with Black Lives Matter, Movement 4 Black Lives, and SURJ. AWARE LA works to raise awareness and promote a cultural transformation through fundraising, educating, recruiting, and encourage political action in the community. Join here.
19. The National Council of Negro Women
The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is on a mission to empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. Founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune — an influential educator and activist — the NCNW promotes Black representation in STEM education, financial literacy, economic stability, promotes civic engagement, and advocates for Black women to get involved in public policy and social justice. The NCNW has sections across the United States. To find one to join, go here.
20. Organization for Black Struggle
Founded in 1980, the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) is a St. Louis-based group fighting for racial equality, with an emphasis on the Black working class. OBS works in local, national, and sometimes international movements, campaigns, and initiatives, and is an affiliate of HandsUp United. You can join OBS here.
Beverly Tatum, Ph.D, President Emerita of Spelman College, author and speaker
Che Johnson-Long, director of decarceration strategies at the Racial Action Justice Center in Georgia
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