Race Matters, Friends sees membership, donations spike

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COLUMBIA — Race Matters, Friends is a nonprofit group in Columbia working for racial equity in mid-Missouri. 

Since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, the group has seen great interest in new members and community outreach.

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, President of Race Matters, Friends says the Facebook group has seen more than 500 new members wanting to become involved with the movement since Floyd's death. 

"It is the work you do after the march that matters" said Wilson-Kleekamp. 

With the increase of members to Race Matters, Friends Wilson-Kleekamp has a challenge for the community. 

"How are you going to be a part of the movement after the protest?"

Not only have community members sought out ways they can help, but local businesses as well.

Last week Sycamore, the downtown Columbia restaurant donated a week of cocktail sales to Race Matters, Friends— amounting to about $2,500. 

Sanford Speake, one of the owners of Sycamore, said they didn't want this donation to be about the restaurant.

Ragtag Film Society is donating sales from 3 of their June Virtual film showings to Race Matters, Friends.

"The organization believes in what they're doing" said Stacie Pottinger, director of development and communication for Ragtag.

Donations to Race Matters, Friends go to their community bail fund as well as projects within the non-profit.