Black Lives Matter: Tetra's Guide to Long-Term Giving

Wed Jun 03, 2020

I am the founder of Tetra. And I'd like to use this global moment of self-reflection to speak out against the racism, injustice, violence, and everyday indignities that black people have had to endure in this country for generations. In addition to being unequivocally opposed to racism in all forms, I have always believed strongly in criminal justice reform — including ending the war on drugs, reforming bail and sentencing laws, prioritizing restorative justice and community solutions, as well as taking whatever steps are necessary to stop police brutality — and ending mass incarceration. All of which disproportionately impact Black and brown people.

I have not always had the resources to put my money behind those beliefs, but ever since I have, I've personally donated to organizations that are working towards these ends and tried to amplify their messages and their research to my friends and family. In the past few months, I've donated on behalf of Tetra, too. Just so you know where we stand.

While there are so many actions that we all need to take if we want to make any long-term impact on these issues, like voting for progressive candidates in every local election — and for Tetra's part, adding more black makers to our roster — those who do have the resources can at the very least direct them to the organizations who have been doing this work on the ground for years, both to help people directly affected by racism, incarceration, and poverty as well as to litigate and advocate for legal and systemic change.

Here's a (partial) list of national organizations that we think are worth learning about. If you decide to make your own donation, please consider making monthly recurring contributions rather than a one-time payment.

—Monica Khemsurov, Tetra

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

The Last Prisoner Project
As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy, and awareness campaigns the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies.

Equity First
The Equity First mission is centered in transformative justice and healing communities impacted by the War on Drugs. We achieve this goal by advancing equity and corporate social responsibility in the cannabis industry and by providing education, opportunities for healing, and community building initiatives for our communities.

Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

Project Nia works to end the incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices.

Real Justice
The goal of Real Justice is to elect prosecutors who will make a material impact on people's lives by helping end discriminatory policing, eliminating money bail, and rolling back practices that lead to mass incarceration.

Community Justice Exchange
The Community Justice Exchange develops, shares and experiments with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end all forms of criminalization, incarceration, surveillance, supervision, and detention.

Know Your Rights Camp
Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

Campaign Zero
Identifying solutions, providing research & data to organizers and policymakers, advocating to end police violence nationwide.

Movement for Black Lives
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) seeks to reach millions, mobilize hundreds of thousands, and organize tens of thousands, so that Black political power is a force able to influence national and local agendas in the direction of our shared Vision for Black Lives.

Southern Poverty Law Center
The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

The Sentencing Project
Founded in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. 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.

Center for Policing Equity
As a research and action think tank, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, we use data to create levers for social, cultural and policy change.

Cut50 by Dream Corps
#cut50 is a bipartisan effort to cut crime and incarceration across all 50 states. We bring together leaders impacted by the criminal justice system with unlikely allies spanning the political divide to push for criminal justice solutions.

The Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonpartisan law and policy institute. We strive to uphold the values of democracy. We stand for equal justice and the rule of law. We work to craft and advance reforms that will make American democracy work, for all.

Run for Something
Run for Something recruits and supports young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in all 50 states.

Liberty Fund (New York-focused)
The Liberty Fund is dedicated to reducing the number of New Yorkers subjected to unnecessary pretrial detention while simultaneously providing much needed social services to this population.

Justice LA (Los Angeles-focused)
In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, we work to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care.