Black Lives Matter: 5 Ways to Help in Chicago Right Now

As human beings, we cannot ignore what is happening in our country, and the injustice that Black Americans experience daily. Black lives matter—they have always mattered—and the recent examples of police brutality and the death of George Floyd are devastating. Combined with the startling statistics about Black lives and COVID-19 deaths, it is a very hard time to be a Black American.

Protests are happening across the country. The Chicago protests have drawn nationwide attention, for the passion of our residents but also due to the devastation caused by looters, and injuries sustained on both sides. We cannot ignore this. Here are five ways that you can help this week, and better educate yourself on racism in America:

If you have more ways to help, or suggestions for how we can best use our platform, please contact us. We are here to support, listen and amplify all voices. 



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Please give what you can. Here are national organizations to donate to:

Black Lives Matter: They fight to end State-sanctioned violence and end white supremacy.

George Floyd Memorial Fund: This is the official GoFundMe that goes straight to Floyd’s family.

The Bail Project: Combats mass incarceration and racial and economic disparities in the bail system.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund: America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.

Campaign Zero: The comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.

Chicago organizations:

Chicago Community Bond Fund: Pays bonds for people charged with crimes in Cook County who cannot afford to pay themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence.⠀

Assata’s Daughters: organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development and mentorship.

Black Lives Matter Chicago: fights for justice with families most impacted, while working to create just and equitable systems.

A Safe Haven: One of their properties that provides housing for low income and disabled tenants was vandalized.

YWCA Chicago: dedicated to empowering women and eliminating racism by providing support to all women along various stages of their journeys.

Help Chicago businesses rebuild:

My Block, My Hood, My City: is accepting donations and volunteers to help repair small businesses that have been damaged during protests.⠀

Volunteer: Check with Alderman and Chambers of Commerce to see how you can help—most have organized community clean up efforts. Learn more here.


Educate yourself on racism in America with the below books from local retailers (note that some businesses may be closed due to protests or may have longer shipping timeframes):

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Find it at Women & Children First in Andersonville.

Penguin Random House

From the publisher: In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery. Find it at The Book Stall in Lincoln Square.

They Can't Kill Us All
Hachette Book Group

From the publisher: A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. Conducting hundreds of interviews during the course of over one year reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today.


Black Lives Matter Presents What Matters

Black Lives Matter

This web series combines documentary narrative with interviews to illuminate specific, timely issues, aiming to create safe dialogue to promote freedom, justice, and collective liberation.  Watch all four episodes here.


Now more than ever is the time to support local black-owned businesses. Here are a few to order from this week, and you can also search Support Black Owned and Black Owned Chicago for more:



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Preorder A Book About Racism by Jelani Memory, which helps parents teach children what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it and how to spot it when it happens.

Batter & Berries


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This popular North Side breakfast spot just celebrated their eighth anniversary. Currently they are offering curbside pick-up.



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We previously featured Kaike, a Chicago-based beauty brand that formulates plant-based skincare designed for melanated skin.

Hecky’s Barbecue


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Hecky Powell, the beloved owner of Hecky’s Barbecue, died last month from complications with COVID-19. Support his legacy by ordering food to-go, or make a donation to his Forrest E. Powell Foundation.

Black Ensemble Theater

The leader in African American and mainstream arts in Chicago, they are asking for donations to keep their programs running, and future performances available.



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Support Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery in the Fulton River District.


Scene on Radio

This 14-part documentary series exploring whiteness in America — where it came from, what it means, and how it works. “Seeing White” is the second season from Scene on Radio, the podcast from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

The GOOP Podcast: “How to Move from Ally to Accomplice”

Goop Podcast

From Goop: “DeRay Mckesson—civil rights activist, author of On the Other Side of Freedom, and host of the podcast Pod Save the People—gives us all a reason to feel hopeful. Part of Mckesson’s work is rooted in the highest form of make-believe: telling stories about a more just future, a world we haven’t seen yet. The next part of this important work is getting people ready to live in that world. Our broken systems, Mckesson reminds us, were made up—and so we can make better ones. For many of us, this requires understanding our privilege and seeing that we can use it now for good.”

More from Better

Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.


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