We are in the midst of a fight against social injustice as well as a global pandemic. It’s a turning point for our city and our country, and we know many community members are eager to help but unsure how. 

Individuals, businesses and leaders around Columbus are working toward ways to productively and peacefully take action against racism and social injustice. Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission are proud to be among nearly 3,000 local business leaders who have signed a petition for Columbus City Council to declare racism a public health crisis and are pleased Ohio is on its way to being the first state to make said declaration. We will continue to speak out against systemic racism and social injustice, and we know efforts like this reflect the spirit of our city – collaborative, forward-thinking and eager to stand up for what matters.  

Below, we’ve rounded up ways to help support ongoing community efforts and will continue to update this list in the coming days and weeks. Know that whatever you can offer, however big or small, is noticed and appreciated. If you know of opportunities that should be included on this list, please email us at community@experiencecolumbus.com with more details.

Participate in Clean-Up Efforts 

Since protests have been largely peaceful, there is not much litter to pick up in downtown Columbus. However, feel free to grab a bag and pick up litter you see in downtown. Once you have a filled bag, call the SID hotline at (614) 228-5718 to have the bag picked up with details on the location.  

For those interested, we will continue to add organized clean-up efforts as they become available. 

Be Part of #ArtUnitesCbus 

The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) and CAPA launched the #ArtUnitesCbus initiative encouraging businesses to hire local artists to create temporary art on the boarded up windows of their buildings and beautify the streets being marched on by peaceful protestors. GCAC has packaged an online #ArtUnitesCbus toolkit for businesses with an important guiding document, templates and a database of mural/street artists. These materials will help you navigate working with artists for a smooth and successful mural project. This spreadsheet is updated in real-time with artists who are participating in the project and ready to be hired. As always, GCAC advocates for compensation to all artists for any work completed.  

Offer Financial Support

The Big Give 

Big Give logoThe Columbus Foundation’s Big Give is our community's signature giving event helping more than 1,100 nonprofits. Through The Big Give, local nonprofits gain financial support and are equipped with resources they need to deal with challenging community issues. These funds are distributed to organizations like the Reeb Avenue Center that break down barriers for communities of color, to neighborhoods like the Short North that are rebuilding amidst two major public health crises, and many more. The needs of nonprofit organizations have never been greater as they work to serve and strengthen our community. If you donate during The Big Give (June 10-11), your gift will be boosted by a bonus pool provided by The Columbus Foundation and corporate partners. 

One Human Family Shirt

Order a One Human Family shirt from Mikey's Late Night Slice and Oddfellows Liquor Bar and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Columbus Freedom Fund, a non-profit community bail fund centered on Black liberation and freedom.

One Human Family shirt

Food Industry Action Day

On Saturday, June 27, restaurants and food establishments around the country are donating 5% of their sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Since the restaurant industry was hit hard by COVID-19, the fundraiser is an effort to help bring together smaller donations from a united food community to make a bigger impact for the Black Lives Matter movement. A number of businesses in Columbus are participating in the initiative, including Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Fox in the Snow, G. Michael's BistroHot Chicken Takeover, Marcella's, The Pearl, Pistacia Vera, Seventh Son Brewing, Watershed Distillery and more. For a full list, or to sign up, please visit foodindustryaction.com

Comune Dinner for Two

Comune is reopening on Saturday June 27 with a limited number of pre-order take out dinner kits for two. For the following four weeks, 100% of profits from meal kits will be donated to local organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Educate Yourself

On May 19 when the Franklin County Commissioners declared racism to be a public health crisis, they probably didn’t foresee the protests that erupted in our community, nationwide and around the world in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Already complicated and complex, the issue of racism became more complicated and more urgent by the current level of frustration and unrest. Racial tensions are high, people of all colors and sociodemographic backgrounds are engaging in the demand for greater equity and justice for their black and brown brothers and sisters. Columbus City Council has since made the same declaration and the state of Ohio is on its way to doing so as well, so join the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Wednesday, June 17 at noon on the CMC YouTube channel for a discussion on what exactly that means. Jo Ingles from the Statehouse News Bureau will host Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla R. Tyson for an educational conversation on what can be expected as far as new policies and practices and changes in cultural mores.

March with Pride

Juneteenth March with Black, Out & Proud

Join Black, Out & Proud on Juneteenth (June 19) at 6 p.m. for a march to honor the African American community's fight for freedom and help lift up Black voices calling for justice, equality, equity and liberation for all Black people. The march will start at CPD headquarters and end at MPACC. 

LGBTQ+ Unity March on Columbus

This year, Pride Weekend will be used to ensure the voices of the black members of the LGBTQ+ community are uplifted, heard and at the center of all discussions. On Saturday, June 20, Stonewall Columbus will host a pop-up market for black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Columbus, as well as holding space for community organizations to share resources along with space for #BlackVoices programming to include discussions led by our black LGBTQ+ community. On Sunday, June 21, the Columbus Pride Committee will be working to support the LGBTQ+ Unity March on Columbus for Black Lives, which will begin at noon at the Ohio Statehouse and end at Stonewall Columbus, where there will be a safe space for people to come together as a community and learn more about resources available from various community organizations along with free mental health and stress reduction services on-site. Continue to follow updates on the organization's Facebook page.

Youth Justice March

Think Make Live Youth is hosting a Youth Justice March on Saturday, June 27, starting at 11 a.m. at Columbus City Hall. Future leaders of the community are invited to make their voices heard in this youth-led march that will include peaceful protesting, food and fellowship. 

Support Black-Owned Businesses 

Supporting minority-owned businesses is just one small way we can help. The community is being asked to make a special effort to Buy Black on June 19 and 20 in celebration of Juneteenth, and we’ve rounded up this list of local businesses you can check out today!

Nominate a Hospitality Hero 

The hospitality community has turned up in droves to support peaceful protesters in the fight against social injustice. From providing shelter, bathrooms or water to ensuring safe transportation and beautifying the streets being marched, they’ve been present and active. If you know of someone who deserves to be recognized, please nominate them for our Cheers for Frontline Hospitality Workers campaign and help us honor them.  

Fours/Threes social

To our community

Please don’t be silent. We encourage you to engage in the local conversations that so many have already started. Our voices, every single one, are what makes Columbus the city we are proud to call home.

We’re here. We’re listening. And we want to help.