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Tips to Fight Systemic Racism and Reduce Health Risks While Protesting

Every system that governs us — education, policing, transportation, housing, health care, and more — is permeated with racism and needs accountability.

Black people won’t be free until the systems of racialized oppression and dehumanization are transformed, and until Black people can go for a walk, bird watch, live their lives, and protest the injustice against the Black community without the fear of violence. And if Black people aren't free, none of us are. 

We must fight and speak out. Here are some ways to do that today.

Use Your Passion and Your Power to Take These Actions

Support Local Bail Funds

Support protesters in your city by finding local bail funds or donate to this charity to have your donation divided between cities across the country.

Take Color of Change Actions

Text DEMANDS to 55156 to support Color of Change's campaign to invest in communities, not police.

Take Movement for Black Lives Actions

Follow the Movement for Black Lives Facebook page and @mvmnt4blcklives Instagram for the latest calls to action, including calls to defund the police.

Support Black Voters Matter

Support the voter registration efforts of Black Voters Matter.

Increase Power in Marginalized, Predominantly Black Communities

Support BVM Capacity Building Institute and help provide training and support for community‑based organizations.

Educate Yourself and the People Around You

We encourage non-black allies to deepen their understanding of how racism affects us all by reading these anti‑racism resources and having conversations with your family and friends.

Support These Groups

No matter where you are, you can follow, donate to, or become a member of organizations that support Black communities. These groups are deeply entrenched in racial justice work:

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 While Protesting in Person

When you are showing up, speaking out, and protesting police brutality and violence, follow these guidelines to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.

Remember: Structural racism and police brutality are long-standing public health issues that have contributed to many of the health inequities that Planned Parenthood patients, supporters, and communities experience daily. This includes the disturbing, disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Black communities.


Before Going Out to a Group Protest

  1. If you are not well or have reason to think you have COVID-19, stay home.

  2. If you ARE feeling well, still assess two things: (1) your level of tolerance for getting exposed to COVID-19, and (2) your level of risk for severe illness if you contract COVID-19.

  3. Bring a face mask, water, and sunblock. 

  4. If you are concerned with being exposed to tear gas or pepper spray, avoid wearing contact lenses and bring goggles, sun- or safety-glasses. Wear plain clothes and shoes that you don’t mind becoming contaminated, and consider bringing a change of clothes.

  5. If you have asthma or severe allergies, bring your rescue medications with you.

While at a Group Protest

  1. Wear a mask or face covering over your nose and mouth. 

  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless your hands are clean.

  3. Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from other protestors and from law enforcement, particularly those not wearing face coverings, if at all possible. 

  4. Stay hydrated and wear sunblock.

If You're Exposed to Tear Gas or Pepper Spray

  1. Do not rub your eyes.

  2. Move away from the area.

  3. Flush out your eyes with water. The effects should wear off within 30 minutes.

  4. Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible.

  5. Shower with soap and water.

After the Protest

  1. Monitor yourself for symptoms.

  2. If you have health concerns, contact your health provider and/or reach out to local testing centers.

  3. If you’re able to and your community has a high rate of COVID-19, self-quarantine for two weeks post-protest. 

  4. Continue to take recommended precautions to reduce risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others — including staying home as much as possible, and wearing a face covering in public spaces.


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