Celebrating Black History Month is about recognizing the contributions that Black people have made to positively impact both the country and the world. The efforts of Charles Hamilton Houston, “the Man Who Killed Jim Crow,” helped remove segregation policies in the U.S. The work of Pauli Murray inspired Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, leading to groundbreaking supreme court decisions removing gender discrimination. But the work is far from over. Black people continue to be disproportionately disadvantaged. In 2019, over a fifth of the impoverished population of America was Black. So what can you do to help?
There are plenty of organizations out there doing great work in your community. And those organizations could really use your help. Whether it’s a tutoring at a nearby school, helping serve at a soup kitchen or putting your hobbies to altruistic use, see about finding time in your schedule for acts of service.
Support Black Owned Businesses
Chances are, there’s a Black-owned business in your area that you didn’t even know about. From restaurants and clothing boutiques to construction and real estate, match your needs with the small businesses around you. You might find a new favorite, and you’ll be supporting business owners in need. Not sure where to start? Support Black Owned is a great place.
Whether you marched in Black Lives Matters protests or simply agree that the current system is flawed and in need of change, you know there’s a lot that has to be done. It has been and continues to be a challenge, but there are organizations out there working hard to make those changes a reality. Those organizations need monetary help to continue making progress in the effort to remove bias from long-standing systems of power.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list focused on social justice:
- American Civil Liberties Union
- The Brennan Center for Justice
- Color of Change
- The Dream Corps
- Know Your Rights Camp
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- The Prison Book Program
When it comes to donating, every little bit counts. But you may be able to double your contribution! See if your company has a match program. Last year we formally established the Motus Gives Initiative. The initiative is a donation matching program that allows team members to submit donations they’ve personally made to nonprofit organizations and Motus will match their donation. Our process was as simple as sharing contact information, the organization, the amount and the receipt for the donation. Reach out to your company’s HR department and they’ll help you through the process.
We have so many Black figures to honor and celebrate in the month of February. One of the best ways to give thanks for their efforts is supporting others in need. And just because the month of February is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to stop supporting the Black community. Whether you’re looking to volunteer or donate, educate or learn new way to help we hope this list provides you with some guidance, even if it’s only a stepping–stone to your involvement.