Courtesy of the phenomenal Laura Silverman (Twitter | Tumblr)

“Alton Sterling was a 37-year-old black man that was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana early Tuesday. Alton Sterling, a father of five, lived out of a shelter, selling CDs in front of a food mart to get by. He sold CDs for years, earning the nickname “CD-Man.” There has been a minute long video recorded by a witness of Mr. Sterling’s death that has caused outrage in the community and on social media. Selling CDs to get by in such a divided world should not be punishable by death.” Jay Coles

The murder of Alton Sterling was a horrific tragedy – perhaps more horrific, these murders happen all the time and don’t get caught on camera, or get caught on camera and somehow the officers don’t land in jail.

A lot of us want to help but feel like we can’t. What power do we have? What can we do beyond showing support on social media and rallying for change in the streets – rallies that often get dismissed as “riots” and targeted by the media as the real violence.

Well, we do have power. Our power is in supporting those who have the platform to enact change. Our power is in supporting those who have been affected by these tragedies. Our power is in using the abstraction of words to create concrete change.

So – how do you help?

Search the hashtag #WordsforChange on Twitter.

Authors, writers, and readers are going to begin posting giveaways under this hashtag. The giveaway might be a book of your choosing, a query critique, that ARC you’ve be pining after, or something else. The rules will differ a bit for each competition, but for the majority of them, if you win the giveaway, you must donate any amount to one of the approved funds below to collect your prize. If a giveaway is particularly desirable, the user might ask that you donate first as an entry, and then they will choose a winner from those who donate.

ANYONE can and is encouraged to give away something. Again, it can be as simple as the winner receives a book of their choosing.

Here are the currently approved places to donate. PLEASE message me here or at my email (LauraSilvermanLovesBooks@Gmail.com) if you have more recommend places. I will continue to update the list as I receive recommendations:


Alton Sterling Family Scholarship Fund: *ALL* funds raised will go to Alton Sterling’s family.


Release the Breaks: Making strides to uplift, encourage and inspire young Black Men to, “BE Different, BE Great, Never Stop.”

Black Lives Matter: Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.


Rep John Lewis: “We’ve lost too many of our friends, too many of our children and our babies to gun violence. We must act, and act now. #goodtrouble.”

Rep Cedric Richmond: “The shooting of #AltonSterling is a tragedy. His family and the ppl of BR deserve answers & that is what we’ll seek.”

Rep Karen Bass: “Prior to serving in Congress, Congressmember Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role.”


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