How to Be an Effective Ally


Photo credit: Erin Haynes

Zia Sampson and Erin Haynes

Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, protestors across the world have been joining the Black Lives Matter movement to fight for racial equality and an end to police brutality. Various organizations have taken to social media to share resources for donations, education, and other ways to help. The Maroon has put together a master list of many of these to help you be an effective ally.

Acknowledge Your Own Privilege

Before you can fight for racial equality, it is important to understand that you have privilege. There are many ways that black people are greatly disadvantaged in this country, and that fact has been swept under the rug for far too long. Once you understand how American culture has given you privilege, you can make sure that you are using it to help Black Lives Matter.

Educate Yourself on the Black Experience

To better understand the various forms of racism in today’s society, read, watch, and listen to the stories and art of black people. The Maroon has a list of movies and documentaries to watch, listed here. As for books, here are a few recommendations from The Maroon team.

-”The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas

-”How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

-”The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

-”Just Mercy: a Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson

For a more extensive list, look at the books that USA Today suggests.

And here are some podcast recommendations:



-”Still Processing”

-”Code Switch”

-”The Stoop”


Besides that, it is important to familiarize yourself with civil rights cases and activists, especially those who do not get a lot of media attention. To get started, check out this article by the History channel. You could also consider joining historically black organizations, such as Loyola’s chapter of National Alliance of Black Journalists, to learn from a variety of speakers and people.

Have Uncomfortable Conversations

One way to use your privilege is to start conversations with people who either do not understand the Black Lives Matter movement or stand against it. Whether it be friends, family members, or someone you follow on Instagram, it is important to have uncomfortable conversations confronting racist behaviors.

Use Your Art to Start those Conversations

What better way to get people talking and being pro-POC then doing something fun and creative? Make a TikTok surrounding historically black dances, make an appreciation Instagram post, perform and/or see a POC play when you can, draw something, or make a photo collage. The possibilities are endless!

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Look for black-owned businesses around you, and support them! Here is a list of New Orleans businesses on

Attend Protests (if You Can)


The COVID-19 pandemic is still here, so if you or an immediate family member are at high risk, it might not be safe to protest in person. However, if you are not at risk, it is fully within your first amendment rights to protest. If you decide to go, peacefully protest. Know your rights. If you are filming the protest with the intention to post, blur out any identifiable features of the people around you unless they give you explicit permission to post.

Donate to a Black Lives Matter Fundraiser

There are many places accepting donations right now. The official Black Lives Matter organization, NAACP, bail funds in many major cities across the nation are taking donations. As are funds set up for victims of police brutality, including Justice for Breonna Taylor, the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, In Memory of Tony McDale, and many others. If you go to, you can split up a donation between multiple organizations fighting for racial justice.

For those of you who cannot afford to donate, watch the YouTube video “how to financially help BLM with NO MONEY/ leaving your house (Invest in the future for FREE).” All revenue made from advertisements during the video are being donated to various organizations that support Black Lives Matter. For more videos like this, look at this Twitter thread by @iDiminies.

Sign Petitions

There are many petitions circling around right now, a number of which can be found at Included in the list are petitions like Justice for Breonna Taylor, and similar petitions for other victims of police brutality, and the Hands Up Act, which would create official legal action against police who shoot unarmed citizens.

Call Local Government Officials

Ask politicians in your area what their plans are to act against police brutality and how they plan to act against racial bias in the police force and the overall government.


A lot of states have elections coming up. Vote for minorities to hold a political position, or vote for someone who encourages police reform.

There are many different ways you can act against racism. The important thing is that you do.