7 ways to support social justice in Birmingham right now

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Inspiring Action. Doing the work. Photo via Equal Justice Initiative on Facebook

I believe that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color.” These words from the Birmingham Pledge summarize the mission that is at the forefront of minds all across the nation right now. If you’re looking for tangible ways to get involved right here in Birmingham, we rounded up 7 local social justice initiatives that need your support today.

Why it Matters

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Dear Birmingham, . We hear you. We see you. We support you. Racial injustice isn't an issue that should be avoided. Black and minority lives matter. They always have. Always will. In times like this, it's up to all of us to demand the justice + equality that is overdue. . We stand by the Birmingham pledge that says: . "I believe That every person has worth as an individual. I believe that every person is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color. I believe that every thought and every act of racial prejudice is harmful; if it is my thought or at, then it is harmful to me as well as others. Therefore, from this day forward I will strive daily to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions. I will discourage racial prejudice by others at every opportunity. I will treat all people with dignity and respect; and I will strive daily to honor this pledge, knowing that the world will be a better place because of my effort." . We want to honor the work that our brave citizens are doing to promote peace + equality and uphold the pledge of our Magic City. . We'll be focusing all of our efforts tomorrow on sharing resources that matter right now including: . – Black-owned businesses you can support – Local social justice nonprofits that need volunteers + donations – Online groups to follow + get involved with . If you have suggestions, please send them our way. We want to make Birmingham better, for everyone. . Bham Now believes that #BlackLivesMatter yesterday, today, tomorrow.

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Our fellow Birmingham citizens are hurting, frustrated and looking for ways to help. We put out a call for some of your favorite local nonprofits and organizations who are doing the vital work of advocating for social justice.

Here are a few that you named. We know this list won’t cover every organization or individual who is amplifying voices, educating others and protecting those who need it—but it’s a great place to start.

1. The Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is an organization based out of Montgomery. At its core, EJI is one of the most effective legal advocacy organizations in the nation. They also have a museum and memorial in Montgomery and produce all kinds of educational materials, from short films to published research and more.

“The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”

2. Black Lives Matter, Birmingham Chapter

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a national movement that it arguably the most well-known in the fight against racial injustice. Did you know we have a Birmingham metro chapter?

They share all kinds of resources throughout the year that promote racial equality in Birmingham. From educational events to socials to political organizing and a whole lot more. As a whole, this organization is on the front lines of fighting for social justice in the United States.

3. Be a Blessing Birmingham

“Be A Blessing Birmingham was created to bring awareness to and garner community support to help make things better for the large homeless population”.

Once a month, Be A Blessing Birmingham hosts a “Blessing Day” where they gather, purchase and distribute hygiene items and clothing to homeless citizens in downtown Birmingham.

4. Offender Alumni Association

Offender Alumni Association (OAA) runs multiple support forums and initiatives for newly returning citizens and formerly incarcerated individuals in the Birmingham area and beyond.

“The Offender Alumni Association’s mission is to create a network of former offenders who inspire each other to reduce recidivism, develop healthy relationships within their communities, and provide opportunities for social, economic, and civic empowerment.”

5. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) stands as a national authority on the history of the Civil Rights Movement. BCRI reaches more than 150,000 individuals each year through their programs and services, and the Institute itself brings people from all over the country.

“The Mission of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is to enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future.”

6. Urban Impact Birmingham

Urban Impact Birmingham is a community and economic development nonprofit. They offer development services, business services and more to support and promote economic development and revitalization of the Historic 4th Avenue Business District and the Civil Rights District.

“We strive to lead, build and grow traditionally underserved and historic African-American commercial districts and communities. We create economic opportunity and impact people, place and business.”

7. Margins

Uplifting and strengthening black parents. Photo via Margins

Margins’ goal is to uplift and strengthen Black women and their ability to parent. Margins aims to intervene in poverty-stricken familial units and restore hope by providing practical support. This includes but is not limited to bill assistance, avenues for self-care, childcare, activities for children and parents and monetary help.

“​Margins listens to and directly addresses issues stemming from systemic poverty by mobilizing resources from multiple channels and putting them to work for the people who need them.”

This is only a handful of the extraordinary organizations promoting social justice in Birmingham and beyond. Do you know more? Send them my way at beth@bhamnow.com

Even though we’re all a little farther apart, we’re still in this together. See how you can help or get help, right here in Birmingham.

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.