How are you weathering the last week of uprising? As for me, I am feeling amazed at the courage and visionary leadership of young Black activists and abolitionists; aghast at the through-line between police violence toward Black, indigenous, and POC communities – and – nonviolent protesters of all races; hopeful about calls to defund police and rebalance municipal budgets; bolstered by the outpouring of generosity to bail funds; and frankly worn out by all of this manifesting on social media.

I’m over the moon to write that all of these efforts seem to be working. From wins in Minneapolis to Los Angeles to Philadelphia (where we removed a prominent statue and a mural dedicated to a heinous former police chief), and even in the court of public opinion, #BlackLivesMatter is collecting victories left and left 😉 and expanding our notions of what is politically possible.

Photo of large crowd at one of many peaceful protests in Philadelphia on Saturday. Photo downloaded from billypenn.com, originally from Kimberly Paynter/WHYY.

Donating is all the rage

My friend Rachel introduced me to the term “rage donating” which is a pretty apt description for what many of us were doing last week. In just 4 days, the Minnesota Freedom Fund reportedly raised $20 million (update – my sister says they are up to $35M!), especially after some celebrities lent their support to the cause. My hope is twofold – (1) that the MFF can put this money to use right away eroding the cash bail system and (2) donors pledge to give again (and again!).

To support each of us in making the intimate decision of where to donate and how much, I suggest taking a break from your social media. My partner and I have different approaches to this question, which is welcome, as far as I’m concerned. But we joined forces to create a template so that anyone who is making commitments to donate can easily and transparently keep track of where their money is going.

In the ultimate mashup of our tendencies (teacher x spreadsheet whisperer x Jewish scholar x philanthropy professional x blogger x millennial x activist), we teamed up to create a customizable donation modeling application in Google Sheets.

ANYONE can use it, for free!

Create a template copy here!

Watch a quick demo about how to set the parameters here (or below):

My partner has been using this format for years and it’s really awesome to be able to see the trends in his giving and the cumulative total of his contributions. Plus, he can easily tell if he’s on track with his goal and hold himself accountable. Finally, he can learn about his unintentional patterns or bias by sorting his donations into categories and ensuring a proper balance according to his priorities. It’s a beautiful, simple, transparent tool for anyone who wants to make donating (and tracking donations) part of their ongoing commitment to racial justice.

A guide for new protesters

Soon after the Uprisings started, I heard from different corners of my community that people were ready to show up, but needed some support in how to prepare appropriately for likely confrontations with the police.

It all started with an email to my mentor, who was looking for advice to share with her daughter. Next thing I knew, I had expanded the guide into a 15 page resource with practical advice, social movement theory, and, yes, some puns.

I also want to share it with the TDAA community as we all discern the best way to show up in this moment. Access my Guide for a New Protester here!

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