Here Are 10 Things Black Communities Can Do to Support Each Other Through the COVID-19 Crisis

Nationwide cities and states continue to enact round-the-clock “shelter-in-place” orders to enforce social distancing and stanch the spread of COVID-19. Many are already experiencing a significant strain on their ability to care for and support themselves and their families. However, Black people in particular are most likely to bear the heaviest brunt of the virus’s vast impact on jobs, housing, schools, healthcare systems and overall community stability.

In response, activists and organizers across the Movement for Black Lives network are rapidly identifying and addressing the urgent needs of their communities — including elders, LGBTQI+ BIPOC, differently-abled, and formerly and currently incarcerated people. From online petitions and toolkits, to local and regional mutual aid efforts, below is a list of groups and organizations that are helping individuals and families in real-time, while reinforcing values of community care and connectedness.

1. Join Black Lives Matter in demanding better government action.

Black Lives Matter has put out a statement demanding more from the government’s response to coronavirus. Join BLM in demanding the following:

Crisis Response: We need more. We demand more. image
  • Immediately pass a coronavirus relief package now that provides emergency funding assistance to cover expenses to massively test the population in the millions and provide emergency food and shelter to all homeless and poor.
  • Provide a protection and testing plan for incarcerated people while in custody and upon release.
  • Expand SNAP and unemployment for the duration of the pandemic.
  • Immediately legislate fully paid sick leave for all workers.
  • Implement an immediate moratorium on evictions and utility shut-offs.
  • Emergency funding for family and community-based childcare for families who cannot work from home.

2. Donate to the NYC Black Folk Mutual Aid Fund.

BYP100, Decrim NY, and BAJI are pooling funds to offer support to folks in the NYC area impacted by COVID-19. They are offering financial support, quarantine supplies, and any other support needed.

Please donate whatever you can and share this link with your networks. This virus has proven once again that we are all we have so let’s show up for each other in the ways that matter!!! Donate now.

Able to volunteer? Visit http://tinyurl.com/NYCBlackAid.

Need support? Go to http://tinyurl.com/nyccovid19need.

Covid-19 NYC black folk mutual aid fund image


To qualify for support, individuals must be experiencing financial hardship and be eligible to be a BYP100 Squad member. You DO NOT have to enroll as or be a BYP100 member.
Follow these organizations to keep up with the latest updates: @BYP100@decrimNY@BAJI.

Black Lives Matter DC has created the DC Mutual Aid Network, a grassroots, community-led effort looking to take care of each other and keep our city as safe as possible (mutual aid refers to a reciprocal exchange of resources and services). To locate current efforts across the city, find help, or find out how to plug in, this spreadsheet is your first stop. The network covers all of Washington, DC and parts of Prince George’s County.

Black Lives Matter DC is also raising funds for a East of the River Mutual Aid Network and Fund in Washington, D.C. This Mutual Aid Network is a grassroots, community focused and led ecosystem for folks in DC who want to get engaged and plug in.

Already, BLM DC’s efforts have delivered fresh produce, hot meals and hygiene bags to 150 households in Wards 7 & 8 as well as setting up centers to provide supplies for pick-up at local schools. 

3. Support Black Lives Matter DC: Join the DC Mutual Aid Network + donate to the East of the River Mutual Aid Fund.

DC mutual aid network: Free mental & emotional support

Black Lives Matter DC has created the DC Mutual Aid Network, a grassroots, community-led effort looking to take care of each other and keep our city as safe as possible (mutual aid refers to a reciprocal exchange of resources and services). To locate current efforts across the city, find help, or find out how to plug in, this spreadsheet is your first stop. The network covers all of Washington, DC and parts of Prince George’s County.

Black Lives Matter DC is also raising funds for a East of the River Mutual Aid Network and Fund in Washington, D.C. This Mutual Aid Network is a grassroots, community focused and led ecosystem for folks in DC who want to get engaged and plug in.

Already, BLM DC’s efforts have delivered fresh produce, hot meals and hygiene bags to 150 households in Wards 7 & 8 as well as setting up centers to provide supplies for pick-up at local schools. 

4. Become a member of Susu: A Black Feminist Giving Circle.

In response to the emergent needs of Black feminists who are living/caring/healing/responding and beyond to COVID-19, SUSU will be dispersing rapid response funds for the next 2 months to Black feminists. Please use this form to submit for yourself, another Black feminist, and/or organization in need of emergency funds in the wake of the COVID-19.

SUSU: a black feminist giving circle logo

These resources will be given to Black feminist organizers and organizations working to support themselves and others most impacted by COVID-19 (including Black feminists who are disabled/chronically ill, parents, caretakers, queer and/or trans folks, students, etc). We will be able to provide one time support up to $300. You will be able to use this funds as you need and our ask is that you share briefly in 6 months how the funds were able to support you.

All applications will be reviewed every Thursday starting March 26th by our current Susu giving circle members, and payment will be dispersed every Saturday via E Payment (venmo, paypal, cash app). This is also an invitation for Black feminists and accomplices who are able to give, to support susu with a donation so we will be able to provide necessary resources to our people. Give to the susu via venmo and cashapp.

5. Check out Highlander Center’s COVID-19 movement resources and information.

Highlander Center image

There are many resources that Highlander Center is finding helpful as they discern how to continue organizing and building capacity for movement in a time of physical distancing; how to support and protect those of us who are most at-risk; how to ensure houseless folks, incarcerated folks, folks without insurance, hourly workers, and others are able to access care and needed support; and how we strengthen alternatives to the current system to continue transforming our lives toward communities of care and liberation. 

Some of these resources are:

Highlander Center invites you to share resources, questions, and information with them to continue to build our collective knowledge by emailing [email protected]

6. Support BLM Louisville’s Mutual Aid response.

Black woman getting interviewed in Louisville

Black Lives Matter Louisville says we know these times are scary, but please remember that most of us sit with a lot of privilege. Being able to work from home and be with your kiddos, having access to childcare, having access to stocking up on goods, etc. are all privileges that many communities do not have. We need to focus our efforts on making sure that those who are already limited in their access are not further removed from basic needs during this time.

BLM Louisville has pulled together several articles, links, and graphics that will provide helpful information and resources in order to help us all keep each other safe and thriving.

All of their resources can be found here. If you can donate to BLM Louisville’s local mutual aid efforts, please do so here.

7. Check out TheBody.com for their latest stories about what people living with and impacted by HIV need to know about the coronavirus.

TheBody.com and TheBodyPro.com have created a hub of stories about COVID-19. These sites are for people living with and impacted by HIV, but are applicable to larger audiences contending with coronavirus. They will continue to add stories–some will be news about prevention, treatment, vaccines, and some will be about social/cultural dynamics and activism.

Please visit their site for coronavirus resources, here. Resources include videos from infectious disease doctors and nurses as well as infographics which are on their social media, here.

8. Take a look at these resources compiled by M4BL Network members in the South.

Knoxville

Regional Support

Check out the rest of their resources, here.

9.Help Black Madison Respond to COVID-19.

Freedom Inc. in Madison, WI has been mobilizing Black leaders to respond to the community’s needs in the wake of COVID-19. Each week they have been convening black leaders around the city to share information, coordinate efforts, and explore new possibilities for responding.

Black Madison response to Covid-19: Monday March 23, 2020 at 6pm ct

If you’re in Madison, join them every Monday at 6pm CT; email [email protected] to get more details and RSVP. If you’re not in Madison but would like to support their efforts, please donate here.

Each week, Freedom Inc. distributes a few thousand pounds of food through their freedom pantry program. Each day they provide mostly virtual services to Black and Southeast Asian women, girls and queer, trans, and intersex folx who are surviving and seeking support on domestic, intimate partner, family, and sexual violence.

Soon they will launch a virtual help desk for teens of color in Madison to get support with violence happening in their homes, families and/or relationships. They also have two upcoming webinars planned that will address health for black bois as well as black feminist economies.

Check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram to keep updated on their efforts.

10. Donate to the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks.

Covid-19 relief fund for LGBTQI + BIPOC Folks

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the particular vulnerability of queer, transgender, non-binary and/or intersex Black, Indigenous folks and other LGBTQI+ people of color (QTIBIPOC folks). Due to our community disproportionately experiencing a lifelong arc of violence and discrimination, many of our community members are impoverished and housing unstable.

Many folks in our community are self-employed or in the service economy, and living with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or compromised immune systems.

Realizing a need for mutual aid for our communities at this time, and inspired by Ijeoma Oluo’s efforts to support her community of fellow artists in Seattle, Amita Swadhin launched this fund on March 14, 2020 and has since invited their trusted comrades Treva Ellison, Natalie Havlin, Carrie Hawks, Ren-yo Hwang, and Alisa Zipursky to help manage the financial records and design and manage the process of fund distribution.

None of the people managing this fund (and none of their household members) will receive monies from this fund.

Donate here.

JOIN THE
MOVEMENT