In the wake of recent events, our Friday Fives newsletter this week is sharing a few resources on how you can get involved, educated, and support the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a time for us to demand justice, stand together, and admit that we can do more. We must use this moment to take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability, change the laws, and the people who make them.
Campaign Zero #8CANTWAIT is an initiative to call on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take immediate action and adopt a data-driven policy solution to end police violence and hold police accountable. It will take deliberate action by policymakers to end police violence, but it will also take sustained pressure by the people to make elected officials enact legislation that addresses the problem. We can begin helping today by demanding action from our representatives to pass legislation that ends police violence. Sign up to get involved. There are a lot of avenues of support, so if you’re looking for more ways you can help, a 17-year-old took action to put together a list of resources with educational materials, places to donate, petitions to sign, and the contact information of officials you can reach out to take action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. — EO
Like most parents, we’ve spent the past few months figuring out ways to explain why school is happening over a screen, why we can’t go to the playground right now, and why everyone is wearing masks. Even at such a young age, the idea of not wanting to get sick makes sense to kids, so while scary, it still seems sort-of logical. Now, a new conversation around recent events needs to be had, and this time the subject is much harder to articulate and understand. Racism is a learned behavior, and as parents, it’s our duty to proactively educate and begin that dialogue. Luckily there are a few timely resources that can help: Big Bird will be part of an upcoming CNN town hall on standing up to racism, NPR has a few tips on talking about George Floyd, the Times lists some books, and there’s this animation which helps summarize systematic racism. Change takes many forms, but perhaps one of the most profound would be to begin with our youngest citizens. — LO
Minority business owners have faced a system of adversity since the founding of this country. Whether it’s struggling to get a loan or purchase property or just plain racism and hate, these challenges multiply and compound the already difficult task of entrepreneurship. Learn, discover, and promote these commendable business owners! Please check out these links for black-owned fashion and beauty brands, restaurants, bookstores, and other businesses to support. I can personally attest to the amazing Senegalese spring rolls at Cafe Rue Dix in Crown Heights. –HY
Context is everything. If you didn’t know the hare took a nap in the middle of the race, you would assume the tortoise cheated. Every action and reaction has a story behind it: a lived experience, a conversation, a personal loss. The tendency is to take things out of context, looking at individual snapshots rather than the story as a whole, and that leads to uninformed opinions and assumptions that benefit no one. That’s why with everything going on in the streets and the world, it is our duty to learn and listen first in order to better understand the circumstances behind the movement, and the desperate need for change. Don’t know where to start? Here’s lists of movies to stream, books to read, and articles to learn from. Too overwhelming? There’s even a lesson plan for you. Knowledge is power, so let’s do our part to educate ourselves and the people around us. — MC
Initiating a conversation with your friends and family members about anti-blackness and police violence may be challenging, but it’s a conversation that we need to have. It’s important that we learn how to engage in dialogue around racism and injustice openly and candidly within our immediate communities in order to drive effective and sustained change. Luckily there are a number of resources online that can help you figure out where to begin. The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers guidance on Talking About Race. Letters for Black Lives crowdsourced a letter that can be used to start open and honest conversations with family members — they are currently crowdsourcing translations. Teaching Tolerance shared resources for educators on how to start this conversation with young students. I encourage you to join me in reading through these resources, finding more, and starting a conversation even when it’s a difficult one. — AC
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