As a predominately white organization focused on building and supporting the local community, we have witnessed systemic racism. It’s not just isolated to big cities with big police departments. The systems that were built on the backs of others as a means to suppress are evident even in our small town. As people, we’ve observed and felt a deep sadness when another Black life has been needlessly taken at the hands of law enforcement. We realize now that we have not been doing our part nearly as deep as we should have been all along. An occasional Racial Equity Institute training isn’t enough. Yes, it lays the groundwork, but change only happens when you do the work. We need to continue to participate in our own transformation. We’ve neglected this and we feel embarrassed. That it took this collective awakening to jolt us into seeing a reality where our Black brothers and sisters are constantly suppressed, is shameful. We are awake now.
In this newsletter we hope to empower Black voices. Moving forward, we commit to focusing a part of our mission on doing the White work of creating equity that so desperately needs to be done. For we see this as a White issue not a Black one. We must not isolate ourselves and only empathize. We must know and feel deep in our hearts that, while our ancestors created these unjust systems, we are the ones allowing injustice to live and kill amongst us today.
We have been called by our Black and Brown communities, friends, lovers, and families to stand in solidarity. When you feel called to stand up to injustice and fight for equity for all people, know that you will never be alone in the fight. We are right there with you.
Businesses to support
Diversify your Instagram feed
Layla F. Saad @laylafsaad
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle @rachel.cargle
Aja Barber @ajabarber
Mikaela Loach @mikaelaloach
Leah Thomas @greengirlleah
Here are ways non-black people can socially transition into a long-term movement:
- Continue to amplify Black voices on your social media
- Support Black-owned businesses over large corporations
- Check in on your Black friends, family, and community
- Educate your racist and misinformed family members or friends
- Donate to bail-funds, GoFundMes, and directly to protestors
- Dedicate time for grocery runs and give to food donation centers… many places hit by violence are already in food deserts.
- Pay attention to those who stay silent and hold them accountable
List by Lily Someson
BOOK TO READ: Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie / The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas / Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe / Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward / The Color Purple – Alice Walker / I Know why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou / So you want to talk about race? – Ijeoma Oluo / The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander / White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism – Robin Diangelo / How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
Movies to Watch: ’13th’ (2016) / ‘Moonlight’ (2016) / ‘Fruitvale Station’ (2013) / ‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989) / ‘The Hate U Give’ (2018) / ‘Get Out’ (2017) / ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (1962)