Editors Note: This post was updated and revamped in June 2020 for better accuracy and comprehensiveness.
We are devastated by the racist violence that is occurring across the United States. At a time when over 370,000 (and counting) lives are lost to the global coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to comprehend that the senseless murders of Black people have continued.
Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade.
These are only four of the countless lives lost to systemic violence and white supremacy since the coronavirus pandemic reached our country. Lives that matter. Lives that were taken way too soon. Lives that were taken at the hands of other humans.
We are overcome with grief and anger. We are furious with the systems that were built on historic injustices. Furious at white supremacists. Furious at white indifference.
It’s time to speak up.
As anti-racist allies, we are at a loss for words. But we know that standing by in silence as the racist epidemic continues to rage across our beloved state and nation is the wrong thing to do.
To all of our Black friends: we see you. To all of our Black clients: we see you. To all of our Black community members: we see you. Your lives matter.
To everyone grieving: we are right there with you. Let’s take extra good care of each other right now.
As a Certified B Corporation, we are committed to using our business to create a positive impact on the world.
We had an emergency meeting as a company yesterday to discuss ways Unity can show up to fight racism at the source and create everlasting change. As a team, we want to help address the root cause and impact meaningful change.
We will be donating a portion of our profit to a local organization that is effectively transforming institutional racism. We’re collecting ideas and recommendations at this stage. Once we make a decision, we will update this post to share more details.
None of this feels like enough. But every little action we take together can make a difference in the end.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions of racial equity nonprofits and Black-owned businesses to support. We wish we could send donations to every single one of them. All of these organizations are doing important work that will surely make an impact on our goal of ending racism.
Ultimately, we decided that Unity Web Agency would donate $500 to our local chapter of the NAACP. This was a decision made by our entire team based on their longstanding work towards creating a society with no racial hatred or discrimination.
Individually, we are also contributing to the fight through activism, monetary contributions to various organizations, and joining campaigns.
If you are looking for ways to contribute…
We gathered a bunch of resources for supporting the fight to end racism, both on a local level and nationally. Below you will find local nonprofits and businesses to support, national movement-makers to support, books to read, and more.
Local Nonprofits to Support:
- NAACP North Carolina
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination
- Repairers of the Breach
Seeks to build a moral agenda rooted in a framework that uplifts our deepest moral and constitutional values to redeem the heart and soul of our country: how our society treats the poor, women, LGBTQ people, children, workers, immigrants, communities of color, and the sick–the people whom Jesus calls “the least of these.”
- Southern Coalition for Social Justice
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications.
- Forward Justice
Forward Justice is a nonpartisan law, policy, and strategy center dedicated to advancing racial, social, and economic justice in the U.S. South.
Facilitates the implementation and promotion of comprehensive policies, community-led programs and culturally competent public health campaigns that benefit African Americans.
- Southeast Raleigh Promise
Developing a cradle-to-career pipeline of services and interventions to support the children and families of Southeast Raleigh
- MDC Inc
MDC brings an abiding commitment to the work of catalyzing change in the South so that everyone – particularly our most vulnerable people – can thrive.
- Justice Love Foundation
Developing leaders, and investing in social justice organizations who are seeking innovative and collaborative solutions for urgent social challenges.
Support Local Black-Owned Businesses:
These are just a few that we’re aware of at this time. There are so many more! Check out the Black Dollar Business Directory for more Black-owned and operated businesses in North Carolina, or to submit your own.
- Aspiring Co.
Content creation and design
- Black Girl Group
Online freelance company
Online audience engagement
- Jade Wilson
Documentary photography & video
- Bright Black Candles
Paying tribute to Black greatness one beautifully-crafted candle at a time
- The Zen Succulent
Durham-based plant and gift shop
- Tall Grass Food Box
Fresh produce boxes from Black farmers
Vegan organic cotton candy
- Pure Juicery
Vegan juicery and eatery in West Cary
- Rites of Passage
Health & wellness for women and youth
Black-owned places to eat in Durham
- Backyard BBQ Pit
Pit cooked eastern-style NC barbeque
- Beyu Caffe
Locally-roasted coffee and cafe cuisine
- Boricua Soul
Southern soul, Caribbean flair, Euro-African roots food truck
- Chez Moi Bakery
Small-batch scratch-made desserts
- Chicken Hut
Second oldest continually operating restaurant in Durham
- Crumbs Vegan Bakery
Vegan organic pastries and desserts
- Dame’s Chicken & Waffles
Fried chicken, waffles, and more
- Debbie Lou’s Biscuit Shop
Biscuits, grits, and more
- Favor Desserts
Cupcakes, pound cakes, layer cakes
- Jamaica Jamaica
Caribbean and Spanish twist on traditional Jamaican dishes
- Jeddah’s Tea Room
Ethically sourced tea blends
- JC’s Kitchen
Authentic soul food
- JJ Fish & Chicken
Southern-style seafood and chicken (pork-free restaurant)
- Nolia Coffee
Coffee shop for families
- Njinga’s Kitchen
Cajun and southern cuisine
- R&B Grill & Concession
Southern comfort food truck
- Saltbox Seafood Joint
Seasonal, fresh, NC seafood
- Soul Good Vegan Cafe
Meatless soul food that still tastes “down home”
- The Dankery
Food truck with classic street food fare
- The Palace International
African food, music, and culture
- True Flavors Diner
Southern brunch-style food
- Will’s Social Bistro
Restaurant and lounge
Zimbabwean and Southern African food
Non-Local Movement-Makers to Support:
- Black Lives Matter
Global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
- Campaign Zero
Online platform and organization that utilizes research-based solutions to end police brutality in America.
- Color of Change
Designs campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.
- Creative Reaction Lab
Their mission is to educate, train, and challenge Black and Latinx youth to become leaders in designing healthy and racially equitable communities.
- Equal Justice Initiative
Ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Books to Read:
- Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences by Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman
- The Inner Work of Racial Justice by Rhonda V. Magee
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DeAngelo
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- How to Be an AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi.
Because we know there are a ton more resources out there than we could ever compile on our own, please refer to the Guide to Solidarity for a “collaborative list of resources aimed to educate people on how to create safer, stronger, and more inclusive spaces for Black people, minorities, and people of color.” At the time of this writing, it includes:
- Books & articles
- Videos, movies & TV shows
- Allyship organizations
- Protester bail funds, memorial funds, charitable funds
- Petitions to sign
- Resources for parents
- Mental health resources