BOISE — There have been vigils and protests all across Idaho to support the people of color in our community. The Black Lives Matter campaign has filled social media within the last week. But what's next to do?
Beyond getting educated on racial injustices in our country, starting conversations, and making an effort to support people of color, there's more that needs to happen.
"You have to be mindful of what it is you're trying to rectify If you're trying to make differences in education, like the education gap, contribute to a specific school or an institution that deals with that particular thing," said the Black History Museum Director, Phillip Thompson.
You can also get involved legally. The ACLU of Idaho and the Black History Museum are two established organizations that have fought for the rights of black people in our community for over 100 years.
If you want to donate to these organizations, make sure you tell them where you want your money to go.
"Don't just give money and say hey fix this, have a clear, concise plan as to what you want to be done, even if we have to tweak it some, we can do that," said Thompson. "Use those organizations that have been invested in change, not some guy that says he started a non-profit and is going to fix this."
The reason is you don't want to duplicate programs, but also it eliminates the possibility of donating your money to a fraud.
The ACLU is working to reform our police system and using its resources to fight racial injustices that have been in our country for far too long.
"The work that we are doing is not only advancing the conversation and educating society about racism, but also the systemic changes that need to occur in this country," said ACLU Executive Director, Leo Morales.
Thompson is also working to become part of the solution but needs help.
"We are currently in the midst of finalizing a technological solution that can deal with a vast number of people being involved and being able to connect Idaho's stakeholders, powerholders, and those actually responsible for how the city and state tick," said Thompson.
He calls on our stakeholders and policymakers in our state to get equally invested in fighting racial injustices.
"We have to have a dialogue and not a diatribe of me telling you what you have done is wrong, but for us to work cooperatively to rectify this," Thompson said.
Idaho is lucky, he adds.
"We have a commendable police force and an approachable political scene, so we have got to make use of that," said Thompson. "Yes, this sucks it has gone on for far too long, but how do we rectify this so that we are not doing the same two weeks, two months, two years from now."
Here are some local organizations dedicated to fighting against racial injustices, and you can contact them to see how you can get involved.