If you don’t have the means to travel to Ferguson and join protests, there are still other ways you can help.
Janaye Ingram, acting executive director of the National Action Network, spoke to ESSENCE.com about how civilians around the country can get involved in the movement happening in Ferguson.
1. Donate money to Mike Brown’s family. “The family is accepting donations at http://www.gofundme.com/justiceformikebrown. What they’re facing, in pursuit of justice for their son, is going to take a toll on their finances. They’ll have to be out of work when (and I’m going to say “when”) this officer goes to trial. We absolutely should lift up the family during this time.”
2. Send medical supplies to Ferguson for the protestors on the ground. “We’re seeing a lot of images of police using tear gas on civilians. The people who are standing in protest will need medical care—maybe not a hospital visit, but some way to treat themselves. For instance, people are using milk to help deal with the tear gas. People can send medical supplies to the church where NAN is operating.”
The Flood Christian Church
Attn: Rev. Carton Lee
National Action Network
7413 W. Florissant Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63136
3. Organize a protest in your own community. “We know people have jobs and can’t travel for a variety of reasons. But they can show solidarity by organizing peaceful protests in their own communities.”
4. Stay involved on social media. “There are a lot of images coming out of Ferguson. Continue to post them, along with news articles, to show people that this is an ongoing issue. Not everyone wakes up and turns on the news—they tap into social media first. It’s a way to keep people informed even though we all can’t be there.”
5. Train people in your neighborhood on how to interact with police. “Mike Brown and a lot of other cases, including Eric Garner, have shown us that even if you think you’re doing the right thing, it can be interpreted as something totally different. How should people respond? There should be some engagement with law enforcement. Figure out if there’s a community outreach representative in the police department that can engage and help deal with racial profiling and inherent bias. We shouldn’t just wait until the next incident happens to start having those conversations.”