Looking for a way to support the anti-racism movement from the UK this Black History Month? Donating to and amplifying the voices of these charities and organisations is a great place to start.
In this country, there’s long been a tendency among white people to shrug off these kinds of horrific events as symbolic of America’s ongoing issues – to react with “shock” and “horror” that Black people like Floyd are dying at the hands of white police officers, but to explain away that discomfort because “it’s not happening here”.
And while, of course, the US has its own unique history of anti-black racism (and to suggest differently is to eradicate years of suffering), if the global anti-racism movement triggered by Floyd’s death has shown anything, it’s that racism and police brutality are not problems unique to one country or region.
In recognising America’s racism problem (and doing our bit to help the Black Lives Matter movement there) we cannot – and must not – eradicate ours.
The UK is not innocent of the kind of racist violence seen in the US. The list of black people killed in police custody in this country is not short of names – Rashan Charles, Mark Duggan and Daniel Adewole are just three we should all be familiar with. And that’s not including the black people who have lost their lives in racially motivated attacks, such as Stephen Lawrence. Our country has repeatedly shown a lack of regard for black lives – and it’s about time we acknowledged this uncomfortable fact and did something about it.
This Black History Month, white people in the UK must continue to be actively anti-racist. It is simply not enough to say, “I’m not racist” and then continue to act like nothing is wrong – to become anti-racist, we must all educate ourselves on the matter at hand and confront these societal issues on a daily basis.
It’s also not enough to share a black square, listen to one podcast about race or read a single anti-racism book – we must ensure these important first steps are the beginning of a life-long journey of education and advocacy.
On top of this, amplifying the voices of people working to confront racism in our society is incredibly important if we want to see systemic, long-lasting change. There are so many incredible anti-racism organisations, charities and initiatives working to make our world a better place – and we need to ensure they have the resources to continue their incredible work.
Below, we’ve included a list of brilliant organisations you can support, amplify and champion, starting today.
Black Girls Hike
Black Girls Hike is a non-profit organisation which aims to make the UK countryside more inclusive and provide a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors with like-minded individuals. Their regular hiking events also place emphasis on wellbeing and sisterhood.
They are currently raising money to host Healing Retreats for Black women across the UK.
Stop Hate UK
Stop Hate UK is a charity which provides independent support to those affected by hate crime and challenge all forms of discrimination. Set up in direct response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the charity also delivers and supports projects on areas including community cohesion, youth engagement, stop and search consultancy and scrutiny panels among others.
Black Girls Brunch UK
Black Girls Brunch UK is an events organisation committed to empowering professional black women and helping them to feel less alone in their industry. The money raised will go towards hosting more events, which are comprised of guest speakers, workshops, discussions, food and a chance to network. If you want to provide long-lasting support, Black Girls Brunch is also asking people to support their Patreon.
Check out this interview with Black Girls Brunch UK’s founder Cairo Aibangbee for more information.
StopWatch UK is a national research and action organisation that works to promote fair, effective and accountable policing. Formed in response to “unprecedented increases” in the number of stop-searches, StopWatch UK also works to inform the public about the use of stop and search and provide essential legal support.
UK Black Pride
UK Black Pride is an organisation which advocates, fights for, supports and celebrates LGBTQ people of colour. Although 2020’s Black Pride event had to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, your donations will help to fund future events (both digital and physical) as well as supporting community outrush and hardship funds.
Black Girls Camping Trip
Black Girls Camping Trip is an organisation which provides tailored retreats for black women in the UK. Founded in September 2018, the organisation has since hosted two trips, which aim to give black women the opportunities to network and try new activities, as well as support their mental wellbeing. The money you donated goes towards essential costs such as the camping equipment and providing a travel fund so women from across the UK can attend the retreats.
Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund
The Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund is raising money to support black people from the LGBTQIA+ community during this particularly difficult time. Although the fundraiser initially aimed to raise £1000 to pay for the therapy sessions of two black LGBTQIA+ persons, it has now raised over £50,000 and endeavours to help as many people as possible.
Keash Salon Hardship Fund
This hardship fund set up by the owner of the creative hair brand Keash aims to provide support for Black-owned hair businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With so few black-owned hair businesses thriving on the high street, this hardship fund aims to raise £20,000 to give four salons £5,000 each to give them a better foundation for when they reopen.
Crisis Funding for Inclusive Publishers
This crowdfunding project aims to provide support for diversity-led inclusive independent publishers across the UK during and after the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure that representative and inclusive stories continue to be told. The proceeds raised by the fundraiser will be split, with 80% going to Jacaranda Books and Knights Of and 20% split between other diversity-led publishers.
Black Minds Matter
Black Minds Matter is raising money to support black people struggling with their mental health during this particularly triggering time for the community. The money will go towards linking black families and individuals with black therapists and provide free sessions for those in need.
Exist Loudly Fund
The Exist Loudly Fund has been set up by youth worker and activist Tanya Compas to support Queer Black young people in London and across the country. The fundraiser, which currently has a goal of £10,000, will fund essential talks, workshops and mentorships to provide a space for young people to explore their identities in a safe and welcoming space.
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust was set up in the light of Stephen Lawrence’s murder in a racist attack in 1993. The charity works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13-30 to inspire and enable them to succeed in the career of their choice, in the hope that the UK will become a place where everyone has the opportunity to achieve.
Show Racism The Red Card
Show Racism The Red Card is an anti-racist educational charity providing workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages and a whole host of other resources to tackle racism throughout society. You can support the charity in a variety of ways, including making a donation or volunteering.
Runnymede is the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank, which challenges race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debates and policy engagement. A donation to Runnymede will help them to continue conducting research and engaging with policy makers to make long lasting change.
Stand Up To Racism
Stand Up To Racism is a nationwide movement which aims to tackle the influx of discriminatory rhetoric across the world and demand a society where racism is no more. Over the last week the group have held solidarity protests in light of George Floyd’s murder. Alongside making a one-off donation, you can pay to be a member of the Stand Up To Racism movement, which will help the charity to plan ahead and co-ordinate bigger anti-racist initiatives.
Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters work to highlight and challenge all forms of gender-based violence against women, primarily working to support the needs of black Asian and African-Carribean women experiencing violence, abuse and others forms of inequality.
SARI Stand Against Racism and Inequality
SARI is a charity which provides support for victims of hate crime, including those subjected to racist attacks. Alongside providing ongoing support to people who have experienced hate crime, the charity also engages with businesses and organisations to provide equality training and education.