7 Ways To Demand Change If You’re Feeling Hopeless And Helpless After Ferguson Decision

By November 26, 2014Editors' Choice


On Monday, a grand jury decided not to indict white Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The decision spurred protests nationwide and caused upheaval in the Ferguson, Missouri, area. While some frustration over the decision resulted in violence, Brown’s family joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in urging activists to protest the outcome peacefully, saying, “Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.

Here are seven ways you can seek change in the wake of Michael Brown’s death:

1. Help stop police brutality.

police ferguson A Change.org petition is demanding tighter restrictions on police conduct in order to protect citizens, and calling for harsher consequences when an injustice occurs. The petition, for example, calls for cops to be held accountable for their actions by wearing forward-facing cameras while on duty. Learn more here.

2. Support protesters who were arrested.

arrest ferguson Supporters can contribute to the Legal Support Fund for Justice for Mike Brown, which provides accessible and accountable legal services to people who were arrested while standing for change in Ferguson. Since Aug. 9more than 200 people have been arrested while protesting, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected, according to the fund page. Learn more here.

3. Stop the militarization of American police.

ferguson militarization A petition against police militarization across the U.S. has more than 39,000 signatures. It demands an end to the federal program called 1033, which allows the defense department to supply local police forces with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment, the petition points out. In Ferguson, for example, protesters are being watched by rooftop snipers, and reports claim cops have opened fire with rubber bullets on unarmed crowds. Learn more here.

4. Recognize white privilege exists.

racial discrimination Racial bias is alive and well in a country where blacks are disproportionately arrested for drug-related crimes and stalked by store employees at convenience stores because of their skin color. Learn more here.

5. Keep the conversation going online.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer an ideal space to share ideas, support communities advocating for justice and spread positivity. The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Twitter, for example, is providing an outlet for activists to support Brown and discuss the larger ramifications of the jury’s decision.

6. Donate to the Ferguson library while schools are closed.

students ferguson missouri The “other injustice” happening around Ferguson is school closures. In area districts — which are segregated and poor, according to Quartz — classes have been canceled due to unrest following the jury’s decision. The Ferguson Municipal Public Library, however, has remained opened. Teachers and volunteers are planning events for children in the days to come, and support for their efforts is already pouring inLearn more here.

7. Demand Ferguson officials respect protesters’ rights.

ferguson protests Supporters can sign and share an Amnesty International petition that calls for Ferguson cops to treat activists fairly and lawfully. The petition demands that “Missouri law enforcement comply with human rights standards and respect everyone’s right to peaceful protest.” Learn more here.


About IBW21

IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to building the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. to work for the social, political, economic and cultural upliftment, the development of the global Black community and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.

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