Get Involved: 11 Organizations Fighting For Police Reform

Photo credit: KUOW & Megan Farmer

By Liz Hensler
8/27/2020

After months of on-going protests, calls to action from across sectors, and a massive shift in the conversation around race and white supremacy, the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake by police officer Rusten Sheskey and subsequent murders of protestors Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum by white supremacist terrorist, Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin this past weekend was a hard reminder that we have miles to go for racial justice and police reform in the US.

Letetra Widman, sister of Jacob Blake

As individuals, there is power in speaking out, in condemning police brutality to those near you or on social media, but true power and change comes from our collective voices standing up for civil liberties. In addition to protesting and signing petitions, join the organizations who have been fighting for this change – donate, listen, learn, share, attend events, volunteer.

You’re likely already familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement, but here are eleven other organizations fighting for police reform:

1. Know Your Rights Camp

Website: knowyourrightscamp.com

Know Your Rights Logo

About: Founded by activist and athlete, Colin Kaepernick, Know Your Rights Camp aims to liberate Black and Brown communities through a focus on education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization, and creation of new systems.

Key Initiatives: Know Your Rights Camp hosts on-going education across the country to build community and ensure that young Black and Brown people know their legal rights when detained by police. These camps include detailed resource guides, like this one from their Atlanta camp in 2019.

Additionally, they have the Legal Defense Initiative, to provide legal resources for those in need, and COVID-19 Relief, providing needed resources (food, shelter, PPE, education, and bail funds) to those disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

How to Donate:
Set up a recurring donation or give once right now here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

2. Until Freedom

Website: untilfreedom.com

About: Founded by activists Tamika Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angelo Pinto Esq., and Linda Sarsour, Until Freedom is an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice. They focus on campaign development with tangible demands, rapid response and triage, training and resource development with a focus on underserved communities, media advocacy, partnerships with influencers to uplift campaigns and stories, and faith-based outreach and engagement.

Key Initiatives:
Right now, Until Freedom is a leader in the movement for justice for Breonna Taylor. They have organized marches, protests, rallies, and campaigns demanding justice for her murder. This week, they have set up “BreonnaCon“, which include several days of community building, protest, and awareness events. You can sign up to participate in “Good Trouble Tuesdays”, based in Louisville.

How to Donate: Invest in their work here!

How to Volunteer:
If you are able to give significant hours for volunteer work, email organizing@untilfreedom.com

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

3. Communities United for Police Reform

Website: changethenypd.org

Communities United For Police Reform logo

About: CPR is a campaign focused specifically on ending discriminatory policing in New York, aiming to hold police accountable for violating constitutional rights. They focus on dismantling broken windows policing, ending lingering Stop-and-Frisk abuses, and arrests, abuses, and brutality.

Key Initiatives:
Their major advocacy initiatives include – #NYCBudgetJustice against the lack of proposed cuts to the NYC NYPD budget, Justice for Eric Garner, and Cop Watch.

How to Donate: Set up a recurring donation or give once right now here!

How to Volunteer:
Host a Know Your Rights or Cop Watch Training by contacting here or volunteer through one of their campaign member organizations here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

4. Vera Institute of Justice

Website: vera.org

Vera Institute of Justice logo

About: The Vera Institute of Justice works to drive change and build and improve justice systems through policy recommendations, research and civil partnerships; addressing the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement, the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence.

Key Initiatives:
As a huge research and policy organization, they have tons of on-going initiatives, with their top three issue areas being – Securing Equal Justice, Ending Mass Incarceration, and Strengthening Families and Communities. Check out all of their current projects here.

How to Donate: Set up a recurring donation or give once right now here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

5. American Civil Liberties Union

Website: aclu.org

About: The ACLU was founded in 1920 and works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. They also have local chapters, so I recommend getting involved with them, as well as nationally.

Key Initiatives:
While the ACLU works to uphold all kinds of civil liberties, find their specific initiatives around Criminal Law Reform, Racial Justice, and Know Your Rights here.

How to Donate: Set up a recurring donation or give once right now here!

Take Action:
Find many different ways to take action here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

6. Campaign Zero

Website: joincampaignzero.org

About: Campaign Zero is a project from WeTheProtesters that works to support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide. They collect innovative and evidence based research and policy solutions to police violence and organize advocacy for better policy.

Key Initiatives:
Their key policy areas are End Broken Windows Policing, Community Oversight, Limit Use of Force, Independently Investigate & Prosecute, Community Representation, Body Cams/Film the Police, Training, End For-Profit Policing, Demilitarization, Fair Police Union Contracts

How to Donate: Donate to parent org, WeTheProtesters, here!

Take Action:
Track legislation and contact your representatives here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram

7. The Marshall Project

Website: themarshallproject.org

About: The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Named for Thurgood Marshall, the news source seeks justice, transparency, and solutions around the criminal justice system.

How to Donate:
Set up monthly or annual recurring donation or give once right now here!

Follow on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

8. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Website: naacpldf.org

About: LDF is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.

Key Initiatives:
With the current political climate, LDF is fighting to keep and restore threatened civil liberties. Their focus areas are criminal justice, economic justice, education, and political participation.

How to Donate: Give once, monthly, set up tribute or scholarship gifts here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

9. Movement for Black Lives

Website: m4bl.org

About: This movement was started as a coalition space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy.

Key Initiatives:
In addition to community vision and strategy development, M4BL is campaigning for Amnesty for Protestors, Freedom Summer events (in honor of Freedom Summer 1964 and of John Lewis), Defund the Police, and the BREATHE Act.

How to Donate: Contribute here!

Take Action:
Attend virtual events, join advocacy campaigns, sign up for newsletter updates here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

10. Mapping Police Violence

Website: mappingpoliceviolence.org

mappingpoliceviolence.org

About: This project from the folks behind Campaign Zero (above) is a research collaborative collecting comprehensive data on police killings nationwide to quantify the impact of police violence in communities. The site includes visuals, establishes patterns, and breaks down violence geographically (down to the police department).

How to Donate:
Donate to parent org, WeTheProtesters, here!

Social Media:
Follow co-founders Johnetta Elzie, DeRay McKesson, and Samuel Sinyangwe on Twitter.

11. WITNESS

Website: witness.org

About: WITNESS is based on the idea that the majority of the world’s population now has a camera in their pocket. As a human rights organization, they identify critical situations and teach those affected by them the basics of video production, safe and ethical filming techniques, and advocacy strategies.

Key Initiatives:
Check out their recent projects here. Several on-going projects are: Legal Video Advocacy, Profiling the Police with El Grito Community Org, The People’s Database for Community-based Police Accountability

How to Donate: Give once or set up monthly donations here!

Follow on Social Media:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter


Liz Hensler, MPA (she/her/hers) is the founder of Do Good, Better. She works in philanthropy in the humanitarian aid sector and has a background in NGO program management, corporate and community engagement, volunteer management, and communications. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

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