On May 30, demonstrators gathered at the Rhode Island State House in support of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who was killed during an arrest on Memorial Day. Protesters marched peacefully carrying signs with messages of change and justice to dismantle the systemic racism behind the violent acts plaguing headlines. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed in wondering how you can help in a way that’s meaningful, so here are actions you can take to learn more, offer support, and connect with the cause.
CONNECT: There are myriad groups and networks that work to actively combat systematic racism and uplift, support, and serve Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) supports Black-owned businesses with proactive policies, aggressive advocacy, and investor services. SISTA FIRE brings together women of color to use their collective power for social, economic, and political transformation. Stages of Freedom, run by well-known East Sider Ray Rickman, is a bookstore and cultural center catering to the Black community in Providence. Other organizations include: The Rhode Island Coalition of Black Women, ARISE, PrYSM, the Providence and Newport branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the George Wiley Center, and Direct Action for Rights and Equality.
SUPPORT: Show solidarity by supporting local Black-owned businesses, such as shops, salons, and restaurants. Consider donating to the George Floyd Memorial Fund, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Color of Change, or support the Nonviolence Institute, the BIPOC entrepreneurs at Social Enterprise Greenhouse, and put your name on the petition to get the Centers for Disease Control to recognize that racism is a threat to public health.
LEARN: Take the time to sift through the information provided by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, EduLeaders of Color, Economic Progress Institute RI. Take the walking Early Black History Tour in Providence, and read RI Kids Count 2020 Factbook chronicling the Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rhode Island.
If we missed anything, please let us know at Mail@ProvidenceOnline.com