Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donate $200K to NAACP Legal Defense Fund amid George Floyd protests
"We've never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we're pulled over in the car," the pair wrote in a statement both shared on Instagram. "We don't know what it's like to experience that life day in and day out. We can't imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is."
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer restrained him by kneeling into his neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested Friday and has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
"We want to educate ourselves about other people's experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it...especially our own complicity," their message continued. "We talk about our bias, blindness, and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become."
The actors also said their donation was "just a start." "We also pledge to [stay] educated and vote in every local election. We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons. We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them."
Celebrities including Beyoncé, Cardi B, John Boyega, and Kendrick Sampson have spoken out in the wake of Floyd's death. Others have donated money to help bail out protestors and have taken part in demonstrations themselves.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.