Fact: 2020 woke a lot of privileged people up! But marginalized communities have been suffering for a very long time, and it’s always a good time for those with privilege to lend a hand to those facing oppression and hardship.
If you agree that those with the means to do so have a responsibility to care for others—and that such acts can encourage meaningful, positive, loving outcomes—here are some ways to contribute.
Below is a list of organizations I currently give to on a monthly recurring and intermittent basis. This is not a means of bragging, but a means of curating the list! There are SO many excellent organizations to investigate and support. Consider setting up automatic donations so that a small portion of your income each month is transferred to those who need it most.
Bushwick Ayuda Mutua is a network of Bushwick neighbors supporting neighbors. Update 2020: This is the organization that fed over 2K Bushwick residents during the COVID-19 crisis and continues to do great work.
Clean Bushwick Initiative is committed to cleaning up parks and streets as well as connecting the community through environmental awareness, education, art, and fun.
Bushwick City Farms provides free food, access to space and education programs for community members. They operate by a “give what you can, take what you need” philosophy.
Girls Write Now is a writing and mentoring organization for NYC girls and gender non-conforming youth.
Materials For The Arts collect arts and crafts supplies for NYC educators to utilize in their classrooms and programs.
EV Loves NYC delivers free food to those who need it most in NYC.
The Loveland Foundation provides free therapy to women of color with a focus on Black women and girls.
No White Saviors – A Uganda-based campaign dedicated to educating and uprooting harmful white-centric narratives in philanthropy and volunteerism.
BOLD facilitates social transformation and fundamental improvements in the lives and living conditions of Black people.
Black Girls Code is empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.
Women’s Earth Alliance catalyzes women-led, grassroots solutions to protect our environment and strengthen communities from the inside out.
Girls Write Now is New York’s first and only writing and mentoring organization for girls and gender non-conforming youth.
Freelancers Relief Fund is supporting freelancers who have been left without work and fewer unemployment options.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is committed to challenging the racism, inequality, and injustice of a criminal legal system that disproportionately target and harm low-income communities of color. They also created the Immigrant Freedom Fund.
Hey Mishka has been an NYC-based lifestyle blog since 2008, and I first moved to the city in 2005 (in case you’re curious, I’m from the Hudson Valley and my mama’s family are all from BK). Because of this, my blog attracts a fair number of readers who are dreaming of moving to the big apple!
But we can’t talk about moving to New York City without talking about gentrification. The ever-increasing influx of new residents has caused real estate inflation, problematic development, and over-policing.
Those moving to the city should be conscious of how their presence impacts various communities already residing here. It’s our job to do something to counter the negative impacts our presence might be having.
If you’re financially secure and living in the city, especially in neighborhoods where gentrification is causing marginalized communities to be displaced, make sure you’re giving back in some way. You can do this by doing things like…
Supporting local small businesses instead of large chains (groceries, clothing and home goods stores, etc). Walk around your neighborhood to find these places and make a point of patronizing them.
Donating time, money, and resources to local organizations, both neighborhood-specific and citywide. There are many more Brooklyn-focused organizations listed here.
Participating in street clean-ups and grassroots neighborhood projects without making it about your involvement. There are so many of these, including projects initiated by some of the organizes listed above. Google projects in your neighborhood, pay attention to local signage, and local social media content.
A recent project co-founded by my friend Fei is Plants For The People Brooklyn. They provide free plant clippings, gardening tools, and information about growing plants to community members. They also participate in street cleanups.
Just be a good neighbor. People will always want to live in this city. It’s magical, challenging, and inspiring. The memories you can make here are unreal. But yes, your presence will impact people. After all, it’s home to many, even though it’s treated as a playground by some people passing through.
Whichever neighborhood you pick, commit to being a good neighbor. Consider giving back in a tangible way. Many neighborhoods have blogs dedicated to them so you can keep tabs on local politics and happenings.
And it’s not said enough, but just be friendly… and know when to mind your business. That’s the magic formula for living in NYC.
Thank you for visiting this page! I’ll come back and update it from time to time, but feel free to leave recommendations or get in touch with me on IG: @heymishka