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Black Lives Matter

As a young person’s mental health charity we usually try to remain politically impartial in what we share online in order to be inclusive of all our young people and online followers. However, we do have identity based projects and groups, which in themselves could be viewed as political, because we know that oppression and discrimination can have a huge impact on the mental health of young people. Recent events including the death of George Floyd at the hands of American police officers have prompted us to speak out further and share this blog. Because living a life without the fear of racist attacks is not a political point. It is a basic human right.

Many of our staff, young people and groups have already spoken out against the attacks and in support of the Black community. Every single one of our groups is affected by racism because it pervades all areas of our society.

Reece Williams, our Film42 Young Black Men’s Engagement worker said ‘That the world had to see so candidly an unarmed Black man have his life taken away from by American Law Enforcement to be reminded that we do not live in a post-racial society speaks volumes of the work that we have to do. Many of the young Black men we engage with our work, exist in the intersection of poor mental health and racial inequality and at 42nd Street we are as committed as ever to addressing this’.

If you would also like to add your voice here are some of our suggestions…
 
Peaceful Protests to Attend
You can find a list of peaceful protests across the UK online and the Manchester protests will be this weekend.

  • 6th June: Piccadilly Gardens from 13:00pm.
  • 7th June: St. Peter’s Square from 14:00pm.

 
If attending protests please be peaceful, careful and observe 2m social distancing rules. Another thing to note I that an IFS report says number of UK deaths is higher in most ethnic minority groups so please do take this into consideration before attending with any vulnerable people.
Here are some tips…

  • Wear a face mask
  • Wear gloves and goggles
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Don’t wear jewellery
  • Tie your hair up
  • Don’t wear contact lenses or anything that you would need to touch your face for
  • Deactivate touch and face ID on your phone and wipe it with screen wipes in between use
  • Bring bottled water and don’t share it with others
  • Bring high sugar snacks like bananas and biscuits to keep energy levels up
  • Bring hand gel and wipes
  • Bring bank card not cash and a form of ID
  • Bring sun cream and any required medication
  • Have emergency contacts written on your arm
  • Toilet availability will be limited so women are advised to bring tissues and wear pads rather than tampons

 
Actions to Take Online

  • Sign the ​Justice for George Floyd petition demanding that the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.
  • Write to your MP. You can use this template but make sure to change it a little because identical ones can get marked as spam and ignored. And you can find your local MP here by searching for your postcode. Some points for UK citizens to include are:
  • Join the #blackouttuesday online campaign and for the next week only share content that relates to Black culture and the Black Lives Matter campaign. However, please refrain from using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Blackout Tuesday images because this will flood the hashtag with empty images and distract from content that shows why people are protesting.
  • We should also remember that seeing graphic images and videos online can negatively affect people’s mental health. It is understandable that people want to bring injustices to light by sharing them but if you do please give a clear warning before hand for any viewers who don’t feel comfortable watching them.

 
Accounts to Follow
Instagram

 
Twitter

 
Places to Donate

  • Black Lives Matter movement and fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.
  • The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a non-profit organisation that provides funds for protesters who have been arrested and need to pay bail in order to avoid being imprisoned.
  • The Bail Project also provides funds to pay bail “to prevent incarceration and combat racial economic disparities in the bail system”.
  • Black Visions Collective is  a black, trans and queer-led organisation that is “dedicated to Black liberation and to collective liberation”.
  • https://stephenlawrenceday.org/ is named after Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was killed in southeast London in 1993 in a racist attack.

  
Books to Read


​Films to Watch

  • Selma by Ava DuVernay
  • I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins
  • Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee
  • Boyz N The Hood by John Singleton
  • BlackkKlansman by Spike Lee
  • The Help by Tate Taylor


Podcasts to Listen To

  • Code Switch, hosted by Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby (NPR)


Places to Shop
Some brilliant black-owned businesses mostly from the UK that you can buy/follow right now thanks to Emily Ames for these suggestions.

Cookbooks 


Food & Drink


Beauty & Haircare Brands


Fashion & Accessory brands 


Home & Lifestyle 


Further Support
There are some brilliant organisations across the country working to support BAME young people and here are two that are local to us in Greater Manchester: RECLAIM Project and Kids of Colour


If you or someone that you know are feeling distressed by the events happening in the US and elsewhere, the Mental Health Foundation has some resources on looking after your own mental health, and a list of places to get help if you need it.

 
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