This guide lists resources for Cornell Law community members and anyone looking to support the cause of racial justice in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many before them. Below are links to local Ithaca area and New York City resources, as well as nationwide organizations and guides. These include relevant news sources, organizations that are working to address issues of systemic racism, and legal resources on protesters' rights. If you know of any additional resources that should be included in this guide, please email email@example.com.
Cornell Law Library thanks Khelani Clay and the Pence Law Library at AU Washington College of Law for permission to adapt Resources for Supporting Protesters.
Resources for Protesters: Know Your Rights
- ACLU Demonstration GuidePamphlet with resources and tips for protesters
- American Bar Association: How to advise clients on civil disobedienceInformation for attorneys on counseling clients engaged in civil disobedience.
- Amnesty International Protest Resources and ToolkitsIncludes free resources for planning and attending protests.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice: Know Your Rights ResourcesKnow Your Rights resources on what to do if you are stopped by police or law enforcement. Available in multiple languages.
- Citizen Journalism and Political ProtestsFrom Syracuse University: the rights of a citizen journalist at a political protest.
- Civil Liberties Defense Center: Know Your Rights TrainingsWorkshops and resources for activists, immigrants and youth.
- International Center on Nonviolent ConflictGuides and information for planning and engaging in nonviolent protest
- The Legal Aid Society: What to Expect if you are ArrestedInformation on arrest processing in New York City, and what to expect in most cases if you are arrested.
- The Legal Aid Society: What You Need to Know About Protesting NYPD BrutalityInformation covering a range of topics to help keep safe New Yorkers who are protesting New York City Police Department brutality.
- Midnight Special Law Collective: Materials & ResourcesIncludes "know your rights" information and information for legal observers and court support as well as other materials.
- National Lawyers Guild ResourcesIncludes 'know your rights" information
- Water Protector Legal Collective: Know Your Rights - Legal Information ResourcesLearn about your rights and get tips for interacting with law enforcement
Staying Safe during a Protest
- What to Bring to a Protest: How to Safely Protest During a PandemicTips for reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus in a mass gathering, from public health experts.
- A Few Small Tips for Attending a ProtestTips for protestors on the ground.
- ACLU Mobile Justice AppAn app to record police misconduct.
- Going to a Demonstration? Here's What You Need in Your Protest ToolkitGuidelines that you can use to create your own protest toolkit and help you get the most of your protest experience.
- CDC: Facts About Riot Control Agents Interim documentInformation on Riot Control Agents, such as pepper spray and tear gas and how to treat wounds and exposure.
- #RunWithMaud(includes option to call)
- #JusticeForBre(includes the option to film a 30 second video)
- Justice for Breonna Taylor(includes option to donate)
- Make calls and write letters directly to District Attorney Mike Freeman and Mayor Jacob Frey.Applying pressure through every channel is crucial. Call DA Freeman at (612-348-5550) and write Mayor Frey here to demand the arrests and charging of the police officers. The petition can double as a script.
- Make a Video of Yourself Calling for the Police Officers to be ChargedColor of Change is also calling for personal video testimonials condemning Floyd's death and reiterating their demands to be used on social media to create public pressure. You can find details on submitting the video on the petition website.
Social Justice Organizations
- 28 Organizations that Empower Black CommunitiesA list of organizations beyond #BlackLivesMatter that support the Black community.
- Black Organizing for Leadership and DignityBOLD is a national Leadership Training Program designed to help rebuild Black (African-American, Caribbean, African, Afro-Latino) social justice infrastructure in order to organize Black communities more effectively and re-center Black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement.
- Black Women’s BlueprintThis organization works to place Black women and girls’ lives as well as their particular struggles squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities and is committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political and economic equity.
- L4BL = Law 4 Black LivesLaw For Black Lives is a Black femme-led national network of nearly 4,000 radical lawyers and legal workers committed to building a responsive legal infrastructure for movement organizations and cultivating a community of legal advocates trained in movement lawyering.
- Movement Law Lab CollectiveMovement Law Lab is committed to building power in black and brown communities by incubating legal projects that combine law and community organizing to protect, defend, and embolden racial justice movements.
- National Black Women's Justice InstituteThis organization works to reduce racial and gender disparities across the justice continuum affecting Black women, girls, and their families, by conducting research, providing technical assistance, engaging in public education, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for informed and effective policies.
- National Lawyers GuildNIPNLG is a national non-profit that provides legal assistance and technical support to immigrant communities, legal practitioners, and advocates working to advance the rights of noncitizens.The NLG MDC provides legal support for political activists, protesters and movements for social change, including Know Your Rights and Legal Observer trainings, materials for supporting activists and more.
- Southerners on New GroundSoutherners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.
- Until We Are All FreeThis collaboration between CultureStrike, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, and Black Alliance for Just Immigration, responds to the call from Black leaders for immigrant and refugee rights advocates to boldly address racial justice and show up for Black lives.
- Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights CampAssata’s Daughters (“AD”) is a Black woman-led, young person-directed organization rooted in the Black Radical Tradition. AD organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services.
- Assata's DaughtersAssata’s Daughters (“AD”) is a Black woman-led, young person-directed organization rooted in the Black Radical Tradition. AD organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services.
Justice Reform Organizations
- Campaign ZeroOrganization that analyzes policing practices across the country, provides 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.
- National Police Accountability ProjectAn project of the National Lawyer's Guild dedicated to holding law enforcement accountable for misconduct in our communities.
- Prison Policy InitiativeThe non-profit, non-partisan Prison Policy Initiative produces cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization, and then sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society.
- The Sentencing ProjectThe Sentencing Project has worked for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system for 30 years.
- Local and National Organizations Addressing Police Accountability and Racial JusticeA list of organizations that are addressing police accountability.
Contact Elected Officials in Your Jurisdiction
- How to Contact Your Elected OfficialsSpecific links for contacting your elected officials to push for social and racial justice.
- My Reps ToolEnter your address to find and contact your federal, state, county and local elected representatives
Historical Context and Related Resources
- NY Times: George Floyd Protests(subscriptions available for Law students, faculty, and staff)
For more on finding news resources, see:
- A Guide to News Research: Where to Find News ArticlesCornell University Library research guide created by Michael Engle
Use the library catalog to find library resources on related issues. These subject headings will help you find resources, in print and online about racial and social justice, organizing for action, police brutality, justice reform and related topics.
Hashtags to Follow on Social Media
Ithaca and Cornell Resources
- Ithaca Journalsubscription required
New York City Resources
- New York Times NYC Protests feed(subscriptions available for Law students, faculty, and staff)
Related Research Guide
- Black Lives Matter Library GuideSuggested reading, as well as video and podcast resources, for in-depth education on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism.