As more people learn about the reality that people of color face daily, from racial profiling in employment to police violence, they want to lend their voices and hands to social justice. But for those who are just now turned onto these ideas, it may not be clear where or how to start. For most people, the best place to start is in their own community.

While it’s easy to find national or even international fundraisers to donate to online, every dollar might go further when extended to organizations or people in the local community. People who can afford it can frequent businesses owned by people of color, women, LBGTQIA+, or disabled people to help them thrive and donate to organizations that support them.

However, many organizations need more than financial donations. If you can, donate your time to help those people who are in need. Consider your specific skills, whether it be carpentry or IT, that you can use to help an organization reach its goal. Grab a clipboard and pound on doors if it will help. Your community already includes people on the margins, and this is just one way to connect with and show your support to real people.

Of course, if you can, then you should show up. Go to protests, marches, and demonstrations and bring your friends and family in support. Alert the media to your goals and events. The more people involved and the more coverage these actions receive, the more likely it is that change will happen, as we’ve seen in response to the recent protests in America.

There is one final way that you can make a significant impact locally: voting. The more localized the ballot, the more impact your vote has. In local elections, a single vote really can turn the tide. So vote for candidates who stand up for social justice and contact your current politicians to let them know what you expect from them.

And if you’re committed to changing the world, why not do so by running for office or starting a career in social justice and being the champion of change that you wish to see in the world?

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