Updated: Jun 26
This list is by no means exhaustive. Each resource is linked with more information, more resources, and more action steps.
1. Support urgent local and national calls to #DefundThePolice. Portland’s recent proposed city budget included an unacceptable $256 million for police. Some funds are being diverted and invested in the community, but more needs to be done.
Written testimony on agenda items may be sent to the Council Clerk: email@example.com
City Council Meeting Agenda and Information: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/26997
Demands and sample testimony language from the Portland African American Leadership Forum: https://www.paalf.org/defund
Demands and sample testimony language from Care Not Cops: https://www.carenotcops.org
Information from Don’t Shoot PDX: https://www.dontshootpdx.org
“What the World Could Teach America About Policing: Examples abound of reforms that are seen as ‘radical’ in the United States” - Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic
2. Make a donation that’s meaningful — a stretch — for you to a local Black-led organization. Here’s a list of possibilities; it also includes links to Black-owned restaurants and businesses.
3. Educate yourself. Continue to learn how racism impacts people, yourself included, and what you can do to bring about racial justice. Here are some articles to help you continue your education.
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources, an open source document
Anti-Racist Resources for White People, by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein
A Timeline of Events that Led to the 2020 ‘Fed-Up’-rising, by Michael Harriot
Until Justice Rolls Down, by Urban League of Portland
We Can’t Breath — An Open Letter to the Community, by Marcus Mundy
Reflections on Talking to Kids about Racism - Anice Schervish Chenault
Undoing Racism Workshops - The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
4. Do something. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with “where to start” or how to plug back in. Remember the important thing is to commit to doing the work — today, and every day that you’re able.
If it’s possible and safe for you to be on the streets, get out there! Mask up, of course. Protests are being organized by many different groups; there are regular gatherings and marches organized by Rose City Justice (text “drip” to 420420 to receive text notices of events), and two common gathering places are Revolution Hall and downtown in Chapman Square. Or consider organizing or joining a car caravan protest. Or get “out there” on social media. And please remember to not take up space where people who can speak from experience should have the mic. Remember that much of the most important work white people can be doing starts in our homes, our workplaces, and our communities. Commit to “inviting people in” (not shaming and blaming) and having hard conversations with other white people. Commit to being uncomfortable.
For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies, by Courtney Ariel
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, by Corrine Shutack. (Note that the first suggestion - to ensure that police use body cameras - is *not* a priority for the Black leadership we are following, because body cameras have not proven effective in holding police accountable, and they require more funding for police. Be sure to engage all actions with a critical eye, and to follow the lead of local organizers.)
You can get a Black Lives Matter sign at signsofjustice.com or peacesupplies.org. You can find several local print shops and vendors selling social-justice-themed products toward the end of this list. Instead of buying a sign, consider donating that money and making your own sign. Please be aware that it is offensive for white people to post a sign but do nothing else.
Join a SURJ PDX (White People Showing Up for Racial Justice — Portland chapter) small group discussion “POD” for learning, accountability, and community. Details here, and registration and waitlist here.
5. Take care of yourself. Even if long-overdue change happens relatively quickly from here (dismantling the police force in Minneapolis!), it’s gonna be a long fight. We need you for the long haul.