Though the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic are as serious now as ever, just as serious is the fight for social justice raging across the country. As activists demand systemic change in the interest of marginalized communities, the pressure to get involved mounts daily.
But with the threat of disease looming, exactly how to get involved may seem like a daunting question, particularly for those who are unable to donate financially to the cause.
Luckily, there are numerous ways for people to get involved—both by getting out on the streets or remaining indoors—at no cost other than your time.
1. Attend a protest, but stay safe!
Despite declining news coverage, protests are continuing across the country. All it takes is a little digging on social media to find one. With issues ranging from the removal of Confederate monuments to justice for the Black Queer community, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a protest that aligns with your values.
It’s important to remember, though, that COVID-19 is still a threat. Make sure to wear proper personal protective equipment if attending a protest, sanitize your hands and try to keep as safe a distance as possible between you and the other protestors.
2. Amplify marginalized voices through social media.
If getting out of the house is not an option, you can stay active from the comfort of your own home with nothing but a phone or a computer; the fight for change is taking place as much online as offline.
Find an activist whose message you agree with, and use your voice on social media to make their voice heard. Even if you aren’t the most active person on social media normally, your actions can reverberate throughout the communities you are a part of.
3. Educate yourself.
If social media isn’t an option—or if you don’t feel comfortable taking such an active role in the fight for change—there are numerous resources to simply educate yourself on the issues. Education is the first step towards real change.
The internet is a fount of resources to read or watch. Remember, though, that it is your job to educate yourself on the challenges facing marginalized communities, not the job of those community members to educate you.
4. Sign and share petitions.
Like activism in general, signing petitions has been made infinitely easier thanks to the power of the internet. It shouldn’t take long to find a petition that you are interested in signing. There are probably some in your feed right now! Once you’ve signed, it’s just as easy to share the petition to your social media pages and encourage others to sign too.
5. Demand change!
Call your local congressperson, your police department, your city councilors, mayors, sheriffs or school board members. Change will never happen if those with the authority to enact it aren’t made aware of its necessity. The internet is rife with form letters and emails that you can send with the click of a button—all you have to do is write your name.
At the end of the day, even if you are able to donate money, all of these acts are excellent supplements to a financial donation. Money can only go so far. When it comes down to it, it’s people who can make a difference.