Thanksgiving can be a complicated time for folks, even in non-pandemic circumstances. Sure, there’s fellowship and football, but also fraught family dynamics, ever-encroaching pressure to make good on sales and BUY ALL THE THINGS, plus the whole bullshit Pilgrim mythology.
Giving Tuesday, which is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, comes a lot closer to capturing the spirit of the holiday season, especially in 2020—a year that has not only seen anguished protests and mass outpourings of grief, but also the rise of mutual aid groups designed to sustain and care for communities when governments are unable—or unwilling—to step in.
There are many ways to give back this year—and more importantly, to give to Black organizations.
According to Giving USA, Americans give to charity each year, but only a fraction of that lands in the hands of Black organizations and nonprofits. A recent study by the Ms. Foundation looked just at money given by foundations (a total of $66.9 billion) and found that the total philanthropic giving to women and girls of color comprised just 0.5 percent.
To put it another way—if you were to take those donations and physically put them in the hands of every woman or girl of color in the U.S., they’d each have only $5.48.
Give Blck allows donors to be intentional in their giving. A comprehensive database of Black-founded nonprofit organizations, the site separates groups into different categories, such as health, technology, arts and culture, civil rights, and gender equity. Organizations can also be found according to the state in which they’re located.
There is a separate, unaffiliated Give Black app, intended for use by both donors and businesses, campaigns and organizations, and the Give Back Black project, a directory that focuses on civil rights and criminal justice organizations led by Black people.
Among the Black-centered arts organizations raising money on Giving Tuesday is the National Museum of African American Music, which aims to educate and preserve the legacy of the role African Americans have played in creating and defining American music. Museums, in particular, have been hit hard this year by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help raise funds, the Studio Museum in Harlem has an anonymous donor matching all gifts up to $100,000 to help the renowned museum continue its work supporting Black artists and the surrounding community.
Various personalities are also using Instagram’s Live Donations feature to help spur giving. The Shade Room used its platform Tuesday morning to help raise funds for Peace4Kids, while YouTube star Cristian Dennis was among a handful of celebrities using the platform to raise money for The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
Finally, for folks wanting something closer to home, this mutual aid hub helps connect people to local organizations that have been supporting their neighbors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a service that will prove even more essential to many as the holiday season brings increased financial strain and sickness. The site includes a database of food banks, as well as a primer on how to start your own mutual aid network.