We at the Statewide Poverty Action Network are outraged by the continuous displays of anti-Black racism, violence, and brutality throughout our country. We stand in solidarity with Black organizers, Black families, and Black communities here in Washington state and across the US: Black Lives Matter.

We are heartened, though, to see the outpouring of mass action against racism and police violence in cities and town across the country. Here in Seattle, thousands of protesters have gathered for five days straight. As an organization, we have always believed that anti-racist work is mandatory. It is clear that many share this sentiment. But that’s not enough.

We, both as an organization and also as society at large must ask ourselves this question: how can we ensure this moment becomes the turning point for lasting change? 

Below are a list of ways that you can take action, today. This list is not exhaustive, and we encourage you to follow Black organizers, advocacy groups, and other movement builders on social media to keep updated. 

Stay Educated

  • Black Lives Matter has an extensive list of readings, ranging from Black history in the US to anti-racism for beginners to information on the prison industrial complex, all right here. Take some time to look through their website.
  • If you’re looking for novels, poetry, and other literature that explore anti-racism and Black identity, this reading list is for you.

Donate to Keep the Movement Strong

Raise Your Voice

  • Breonna Taylor was a 26 year old Black woman who was killed when police wrongfully raided her home on March 13, 2020. Her death hasn’t received much media coverage, and the officers responsible have not been prosecuted. Sign this petition demanding that the Louisville Mayor and City Council take action now. 
  • Make sure you’re registered to vote. The creation of lasting change starts with voting for candidates who actually care about racial equity and your community. There will be an election in November, which is the chance to vote for a President, Congress members, and local officials who respect your values. 

Stay Safe

  • If you’re joining a local protest, stay safe. Read this guide on what to wear, bring, and how to prepare. 
  • Here’s a thread on Black mental health resourcesThis post as well has some great resources that center Black mental health.

Active anti-racist work is not optional. This movement needs all of us — the organizers, the storytellers, the healers, and the disruptors. Please keep learning, reading, listening to Black organizers and Black leaders, speaking up, acting up, voting, educating, and otherwise furthering this movement.