6 ways you can help fight for justice after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s deaths

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

We are tired. The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are tragedies that feel too much to bear. Reading and writing Facebook statuses, posting hashtags and watching videos of murder are routines we no longer want to engage in.

“I want justice, I want justice!” Diamond Reynolds tearfully yelled in the wake of the fatal police shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile. If Reynolds can find the strength to demand justice in the wake of tragedy, then we have no excuse not to take action.

No one action alone will ever be enough to solve this problem. But here are 6 starting points to connect you to movements on the ground:

1. Join a planned demonstration in your local area.

Look through local activist organizations and Facebook Events to find gatherings in your area.

New York- Union Square *Now*

Newark, NJ 
July 9th 12pm-TBD, Newark Penn Station

July 10th 12pm, Riverside City Hall

July 7th 6pm 5101 S Wentworth Chicago

Austin, Texas
July 7th 8pm Givens Park 3811 East 12th Street.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
July 10th 4pm BRPD Building 4445 Plank Road Baton Rouge

*We will update this list as more details become available.

2. Sign a petition.

Change.org hosts an entire section of petitions around police accountability. Create or sign one online to add your voice to the movement.

3. Donate to the families of the victims and political coalitions.
Producer Issa Rae has started a GoFundMe campaign to fund the college educations of Alton Sterling’s children. It has already surpassed its goal of $200,000 and is currently at more than $450,000.
GoFundMe for Philando Castile has been started by activist Xavier Burgin, who is not a member of Castile’s family but has stated all funds will be turned over and has included his personal information online.

Another GoFundMe created by Castile’s sister has also been started: https://www.gofundme.com/2d5wd5g.

A group called The Collective PAC, “Building Black Political Power” has started fundraising to support political candidates “committed to uplifting the black community.”

4. Learn about police union contracts to create accountability.

Campaign Zero’s Police Union Contract Project aims to create accountability for officer misconduct as part of a larger effort to end police violence. The group has reviewed police union contracts in 81 of America’s 100 largest cities and is highlighting laws that make it harder to prosecute police.

5. Contact local and national representatives.

Both Lousiana Governor Bel Edwards and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton have constituent helplines. Contact your representatives here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

6. Speak out and encourage allies to do the same.

Never underestimate the power of using your voice. In the digital age, we learned about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s deaths in a matter of hours. Say their names and encourage those who consider themselves to be allies to do the same.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Grio Fam, what actions are you taking locally to address the recent shooting deaths and the issue of police brutality as a whole? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what is happening in your community.