George Floyd’s violent death in Minneapolis Police Department custody on May 25 sent shockwaves that have resulted in social unrest nationwide.
Philadelphia citizens have marched and staged peaceful protests in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. A torrid weekend of riots have also left many businesses and communities in shambles.
Here’s how eight local organizations that support Black communities are responding to the moment.
“A large part of the reason racial inequity and oppression hasn’t been addressed is because as a nation we’ve been largely unwilling to address it. Every company in the startup space has a role to play in addressing it and those that don’t believe they do are complicit.” https://t.co/LCDG0KDxCw
— Coded by Kids (@codedbykids) June 1, 2020
The nonprofit Coded By Kids was founded in 2014 by former Marine Sylvester Mobley to help give kids access to careers in tech. In a guest post Monday, Mobley recently shared that it’s time for community members and organizations alike to have a hard discussion: “We are going to have an honest conversation about the results of unaddressed racial inequity and oppression.”
— North Broad (@ThinkBroad_) May 31, 2020
North Broad Renaissance is a community organization committed to the beautification and economic development of North Broad Street. Sunday afternoon, it affirmed its mission to “stand on the side of justice, equity, and growth for the sake of the community we serve and the change we need to create” in a statement via social media — then organized a post-protest cleanup for Monday morning.
West Philadelphia business incubator The Enterprise Center provides local small businesses with resources and operates the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Center of Pennsylvania. After recent looting ravaged some local businesses, the center organized cleanups to help the community.
"It’s time for the philanthropic community to seriously embrace demands for radical change and for national reparations."
— our ED Casey Cook https://t.co/YQIFbIBzTJ
— Bread & Roses Community Fund (@breadrosesfund) June 1, 2020
In a Monday Generocity story, Bread & Roses Community Fund’s executive director, Casey Cook, emphasized that recent protests are the result of “a long history of white supremacy inflicted on the Black community.” Cook said that foundations must donate to Black and brown people and community organizations run by Black and brown people (which they can do via Bread & Roses’ Racial & Economic Justice Fund and other funds).
.@PhillyInquirer on #DefundThePolice: At a time when other departments and programs are being decimated or terminated, @PhillyPolice are proposing a budget increase of nearly $14 million… Taxpayers can't continue to fund the police’s continuation of a status quo based on racism https://t.co/gMhUJTlv38
— Movement Alliance Project (@mvmalliance) May 31, 2020
The Movement Alliance Project — formerly known as Media Mobilizing Project — and initiatives like its Philly Tech Justice work to connect communities of color and empower working families both in Philadelphia and nationally. Last Sunday, MAP shared a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial reminding people that an embattled Philadelphia Police Department has requested a $14 million budget increase. Policy Director Hannah Sassaman told Generocity that MAP is working “to follow that rage and to amplify the demands of our people” in response to that proposed increase.
The African American Chamber of Commerce supports the economic growth of Black-owned businesses throughout the Delaware Valley. In a recent statement, President and CEO Donovan S. West discussed the various traumas facing Black people and provided a list of things Black people can do during this difficult time, as well as things non-Black people can do to support them.
PABJ was founded in 1974 and is the nation’s oldest professional organization supporting journalists of color. In response to recent protests following the killing of George Floyd, the group’s executive board released a statement Tuesday supporting Black journalists and admonishing police brutality.
"Those businesses are already struggling because of coronavirus, and if we don't get some kind of support or aid to them, we’re going to have a vastly different neighborhood on 52nd Street," says @RealJabariJones of @PHLCollaborativ. More in our liveblog: https://t.co/SU0VaHG2yT
— Justine McDaniel (@McDanielJustine) June 1, 2020
The West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative (aka “The Collaborative”) is a business stakeholders network that functions as an entrepreneurship engine to help local small businesses grow and thrive. On Sunday, the group’s president noted that unlike corporate businesses that had been damaged in Center City, damaged small businesses on 52nd Street would need much more assistance.
Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.