This is an especially vulnerable time for many Milwaukeeans amid the ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. If you’ve been watching and reading the news both nationwide and local and want to participate, read our guide to safely protesting.
But there are also other meaningful ways to help outside of protesting. This guide provides resources on where you can donate to help protestors and community organizations, as well as support black-owned and operated businesses. Check out each group’s homepage to find more information.
Donate money to help protestors
Donate to the Wisconsin branch of the ACLU, a non-profit organization “dedicated to defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Wisconsin residents.”
Donate to the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP whose collective core issues are education, fair housing, employment, health, criminal justice and police reform and accountability.
This fund is raising money for bail and court-related costs for arrested protesters, as well as rides, food, water and more. Currently, its donation page is paused, saying it needs time for organizers to responsibly administrate the raised funds. However, the Milwaukee Freedom Fund has other ways for people to help such as Freedom Resources, listed below.
If you are a part of or know any legal organizations, or other law-related resources to help support Milwaukee Freedom Fund, fill out this Google Form to offer your services.
The Wisconsin Justice Initiative advocates for “for progressive change in the Wisconsin justice system by educating the public about its real-life impacts and partnering with other organizations to achieve more just outcomes.” Recently, the group has successfully lobbied the City of Milwaukee to provide a lawyer for indigent defendants in Municipal Court and contributed to the organization of 18 cannabis legalization advisory referendums in Wisconsin.
The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee “provide[s] free legal assistance to low-income Milwaukee County residents with civil legal problems.” The group provides services to 8,000 of “Milwaukee’s most vulnerable residents.”
Support community organizations
Liberate MKE, a community organizing group, surveyed the Milwaukee community asking where residents wanted their money allocated. The results indicated that residents wanted their money going towards “youth employment and transportation, economic opportunity through job training and financial literacy, and non-police violence prevention projects such as violence interrupter programs.”
The African American Roundtable, AART, is led by and serves the African American community in Milwaukee. The coalition “exists to empower and organize our community to transform policies so we can thrive and live at our greatest potential.”
BLOC “is a nonprofit organization working to ensure a high quality of life for Black communities in Wisconsin.” They are behind several candidates participating in “silent canvasses” in African American communities in Milwaukee, including Governor Tony Evers and new county executive David Crowley. Executive Director Angela Block spoke livestream with Milwaukee Magazine editor-in-chief and publisher Carole Nicksin last Friday.
LIT strives to organize youth of color to be fully engaged with “year-round civic engagement” and “to build independent political power for social, racial and economic justice.”
Love on Black Women helps to support black women in Milwaukee. You can also nominate a black woman “who strengthens our community” and Love on Black Women promises “we’ll shower her with love!”
Metcalfe Park Community Bridges focuses on resident engagement for the improvement of the Metcalfe Park neighborhood. Its priorities include “safety and placemaking, connectedness and cultural vibrance, civic engagement, intergenerational wealth and opportunity, and health and wellness.”
Support black-owned businesses
MKE Black has a directory of black-owned businesses in Milwaukee. The list ranges from consulting firms to escape rooms to popcorn shops. MKE Black started as an app promoting black-owned and operated businesses launched by Paul Wellington and Rick Banks in February of 2020. They recently released this online directory and the app is still available for download.