[Written by WatchTheYard.com Guest Writer, Alexz Chill]
It is 2015 and we are the wake of yet another police brutality riot, this time in Baltimore mourning the life of Freddie Gray .
We just passed the the third anniversary of the Trayvon Martin case. It’s coming up on the year anniversary of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner Case. Not to mention, JUST last year, we mourned the deaths of young men and women like Rumain Brisbson, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Kajieme Powell, Ezell Ford, John Crawford III, Dante Parker, Tyree Woodson, Victor White III, Yvette Smith, McKenzie Cochran, and Jordan Baker.
The fact that I have to re-publish this particular blog a year later is shameful, disappointing and frankly disrespectful. You would think that after all of the MULTIPLE protests, riots, petitions, marches, and massive backlash against police brutality, police departments would:
1) Get some kind of sensitivity training
2) Re-evaluate and re-implement best practices in their county so these kinds of incidents don’t happen again
3) And if you’re not going to do that, at LEAST give us the common courtesy of not blatantly calling open season on our Black men and women back to back to back to back without the proper and due repercussions.
I could go on and on about this. I will be right up there with Black Twitter fact checking, link sharing and updating disgruntled updates until my fingers bleed. But that can only do so much.
As members of Greek letter organizations, specifically NPHC, we are rooted in the fight for justice and equality. Because we are community-conscious and action oriented leaders, it is imperative that if we do choose to lend a helping hand, we are doing so in a productive manner.
Therefore, here are a few action plans that can be implemented if (Lord forbid) this incident happens again and protests spark back up.
1) Partner with your local grad chapter, NAACP, National Urban League, churches or other community non profit organization and see how you can help with their initiatives.
The more helping hands, the better. It also helps if a collective body of organizations come together, not only for extra assistance, but it helps provide a alternative narrative for the media. March. Volunteer with clean up. Help rebuild buildings. Pass out flyers of upcoming town hall meetings, future protest, create a public Google Doc titled ” (INSERT CITY), where is help needed?”, etc. If mainstream media won’t catch it, please believe online media will fact check and provide the positive on your behalf. Another benefit of partnering with community organizations is that they provide structure, streamline the mission, and older members can provide guidance to younger members who are looking to organize events.
2) Purchase Supplies For Protesters on The Ground.
Protesters are initiating clean-ups and are in need of supplies. If you’re in the city or surrounding area, stop by a few stores and pick up a few things. See if you can purchase a few folding tables so you can set up shop and provide supplies to protesters. If you aren’t in the city where protests are transpiring, you can create a Amazon.com wish list where people can purchase necessities for protesters and organizers such as toiletries, garbage bags, brooms, jackets, small first aid kits, headache medicine and water.
3) Pass the Plate : Provide Meals to Protesters
Many times when large protests of scale take place, not only are protesters hungry, but schools might get shut down as well. Stop by your neighbors house or apartment complex and see if they need something to eat. Stop by the dollar store and load up on snacks so you can pass them out on hand. Gather with your local church or group of friends and offer hot plates to those who’ve been on the front line all day and night. Or create a community dinner and post the event details on Facebook so people can spread the word.
4) Get the Law on Your Side: Research Lawyers Who Do Pro-bono and Keep Information On Hand
Keep a directory of national lawyers like the National Lawyers Guild or theNational Black Lawyers Association. Contact the local lawyers in your city that do probono work as well. Having them available to offer simple legal advice or to debrief of rights we might not be privy too can be extremely helpful. If they are willing to assist protest participants, pass their information along so they can get legal assistance ASAP. Engaging your local university Law School could also be a great resource for legal assistance.
5) Offering Time: Provide Financial Assistance for Funeral Arrangements
If worst comes to worst and there is a funeral arrangement that needs to be financed, search the net t see if there are any present micro-funding campaigns that are going on on behalf of family. But before you make any kind of donation, make sure the money distribution is detailed in the pages description. Double check the contact information to make sure it is a legitimate page and the funds are actually going to the family that needs it. If you don’t see anything, take the liberty of setting one up. Look up all the legal obligations or consult with any legal advisers you may have encountered to make sure you are setting it up correctly.
6) Play the Role of a Legit Bugaboo: Contact Government Officials and Local Police Department
Contact your local & state government officials and police department and bug the HELL out of them. Find your local police department here and let the phones ring off the hook. If they have social media accounts, feel free to hit those up too. Write up a collective list of demands that you and your community expect the city officials to uphold. Send email. Write letters. Call. Blow up their Twitter handle and Facebook timelines. Even if they don’t immediately respond, people will take note to the uprising. Soon, someone will have to address the issue at hand.
7) Become a Sponsor
In the even that the riots do escalate, there is a good chance local small businesses will be destroyed as an innocent by-standard. If you know, or know of, the business owner, get in contact with them and ask them what their needs are. Hopefully, they’ll have enough insurance to cover majority of the damage. But if that is not the case, partner up with your friends, family, chapter and local organizations and help sponsor a business. You could also pull together to sponsor a family if their home is destroyed. Follow up with the Red Cross to see if they have a list of supplies readily available that you can use as a checklist in case of emergencies. Write a letter to a few of your local establishments and explain that you are trying to sponsor a family/business who has been affected by the unfortunate events and you are seeking additional help. You can also create a public Google doc inventorying all of the needs for the business, families and/or protesters and distribute the list via social media. Start a Facebook Group or a Groupme to send out reminders and provide live updates on where people will be set up to distribute supplies. Organize a Facebook Event to invite people to volunteer (provide a public Google Doc sign in sheet so you can identify names ahead of time.)
It’s unfortunate that these kind of blog entries have to be written. But in the event that opportunities arise to stand up for what’s right or fall back into the shadows of silence, we have to be brave enough to take the baby steps for a greater cause. This can be our chance to take those steps. Even if they’re small, when we all take those small steps collectively, it’s still one huge shift from where we were. And that’s a big deal.
Be blessed and be safe family.
This piece was written by Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB [Pearl Clu5]. Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe
GOMAB! These Five World Leaders Are Proud Members Of Phi Beta Sigma!
They say Phi Beta Sigma has got soul but do you know what else it has got? Presidents!
Did you know that Phi Beta Sigma claims five members who were the Heads of State for their respective countries?
It is true! Four African presidents and one from the United States of America each decided that they wanted to be members and rep the Blu-Phi!
Click on the arrows below to find out which world presidents crossed Sigma.
Share with your network and let them know that Sigmas don’t just run the yard, they run entire countries.
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe who served as the first President of Nigeria after it was given independence from Great Britain in 1960. He crossed at the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma at Lincoln University.
My BOO! The Complete List Of Badass DIY Halloween Costume Ideas For African-American Couples
We at WatchTheYard scoured the internet looking for good Halloween costume ideas for Black couples but we couldn’t find any so we decided to make our own!
Check out our complete list of the most BADASS Halloween costumes for Black couples and share it with your friends! Our list includes costumes for you couples who love to get into the DIY as well as some especially picked out for those of you who are trying to put something together last minute.
Share this list with your friends on social media! It’s about time someone made a Halloween costume idea list for Black couples!
If you liked this make sure to check out our “Complete List Of Badass Halloween Costume Ideas For Black Women”!
1. Janet Jackson and Tupac in Poetic Justice
Click on the arrows below to view the full gallery!
Need Help Finding A Job? Check Out The Top 20 African American Professional Associations
While we all know that there are strong ties within our fraternities and sororities, you should never stop looking for ways to develop and grow your network.
Joining an African-American professional association can provide education in your field, networking opportunities and advocacy — all with a focus on issues important to African Americans. With the help of the good old internet and Monster.com, we have made this list for you of 21 of the largest and oldest national groups for African-American professionals:
- BDPA: Organized in 1975. More than 40 chapters. Open to African Americans in data processing and related fields.
- National Association of Black Accountants: Founded in 1969. Goal is to represent the than 200,000 African American professionals in accounting and finance.
- National Association of African Americans in Human Resources: A national organization of human resource professionals with 36 local chapters; includes consultants and students.
- National Black MBA Association: A 8,000-member professional organization made up of African American graduates with MBAs and advanced degrees. Established in 1970, its mission is to increase the number and diversity of African Americans in business.
- National Sales Network: An association of African American sales and sales management professionals. Organized in 1992, with more than 2,000 members in 16 chapters.
- Organization of Black Designers: Comprised of 10,000 design professionals in visual communications, as well as graphic, interior, fashion and industrial design.
Engineering and Science
- American Association of Blacks in Energy: Founded in 1977; 36 chapters. Specialties include energy policy, technology and the environment.
- National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers: Organized in 1972 to build a community of minority scientists and engineers; 39 professional and university chapters.
- National Society of Black Engineers: Started in 1975, it now has more than 35,700 members, more than 390 college, precollege and technical professional chapters nationwide and overseas. The group’s mission is to increase the number of African American engineers, as well as help them succeed professionally and to give back to their communities.
- National Society of Black Physicists: The largest organization of African American physicists; 16 sections ranging from astronomy, astrophysics and nuclear physics to technology transfer, business development and entrepreneurship. Its mission is to promote the professional well-being of African American physicists within the international scientific community.
- BCA: Incorporated as the Black Culinarian Alliance in 1998 and now known by its acronym. A national educational and networking organization that serves African American and other minority professionals working in hospitality and food services.
- 100 Black Men of America: Founded in 1963; now 110-plus chapters with more than 10,000 members. Its mission includes leadership, mentoring, education, health and economic development.
- Blacks in Government: Members are civil servants at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. Founded in 1975; more than 50 chapters include the Departments of State and Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, and the National Institutes of Health.
- National Black Nurses Association: Organized in 1971; 80 chapters represent more than 150,000 African American nurses in the US, Caribbean and Africa.
- National Medical Association: The oldest (founded 1895) and largest national professional organization for African American physicians. A leading force for parity in medicine, it provides educational programs and conducts outreach efforts.
- Student National Medical Association: The largest organization focused on the needs and concerns of African American medical students and residents.
Law and Criminal Justice
- National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice: Organized in 1974; state and local chapters across the US. Members include law enforcement personnel, corrections officers, court employees, social services workers, academics and clergy.
- National Bar Association: An advocate for social justice since 1925; promotes professional development for African Americans in the legal profession. More than 20,000 member lawyers, judges, educators and law students.
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives: Founded in 1976. Public service organization serves as the “conscience of law enforcement.”
- National Association of Black Journalists: A professional organization for African Americans working in print, radio, television, new media and related areas; founded in 1975.
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