Just Like Moons

Last week I reviewed children, their purity, their desire to give and the love they have to share. I used Tuesday Takeaway to show the beauty this world holds and how there are so many of us focused on similar goals for our world. This weekend, amid the unrest in our world I held my two tight and embraced their wonder. I savored their purity and the beauty that this holds. I envied the way they see the world around them and I valued the love they hold in their hearts. I reflected that my conversations with them may have challenges but these challenges are never around persecution due to our skin color. Almost all of us experience a form of marginalization in our lifetime, many of which this space has begun to explore. The goal of this page is and always has been a space around the human experience, providing education, furthering understanding and moving towards unity, inclusion and acceptance. I use my voice and my experience in this world as a platform to educate those around me, to promote the bettering of this world and our existence within it. Recent events examine the power we hold as individuals, specifically, what being a white individual in our country means. While I can never understand what people of color have endured in this world, I can use my time on this earth to educate myself, use my voice, be part of change and be not only an ally but an active. I do believe there is evil in the human existence but evil can be driven out when those with love in the purest form are able to come together. We must find comfort in the discomfort of dialogue, engage in self-reflection and make a choice to challenge the silence of those around us.

For my friends, peers, family and colleagues who are reaching out and seeking education, I praise you. I am saddened for those remaining silent or those claiming a lack of education on our current circumstance. It is no ones responsibility to educate you. These events are not new, the deaths are not new, the need for change is not new. There are countless opportunities for education and engagement on all issues, primarily the ones involving the loss of black lives. This is not to say I myself am perfect, there is no perfect, I too continue to challenge myself, I continue to dialogue. In my role within this world there would be injustice if I wasn’t having dialogue, if I wasn’t working with my clients who are POC on grieving, on addressing this re-occurring trauma, on language and on how I can work to improve myself daily, even outside of these recent events. Today’s post is simply offering ways for all of us to further our knowledge and better our involvement in the large-scale issues rooted in our countries existence. There is no room for furthered silence or lack of education, use these resources to educate and begin dialogue in your community, social circle, workplace or family. The financial means of donating is not provided as a way to one-time provide funding and think the work is done. These resources, with the exception of George Floyd’s memorial fund, are not just for this week’s events, these resources are continually available to provide equal opportunity to all in our world, specifically POC. Also during these days not every individual has the means to financially give, that also doesn’t mean you can’t be part of change, keep reading for ways to expand your horizons and challenge yourself. Using my voice in this matter isn’t saying my voice matters more, it’s that collectively as we come together our voices carry further. By no means is this list of resources all inclusive and I hope you continue to research ways to further your mind and heart.

Financial Means and Donating:

National Bail Out
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
Campaign Zero
The Lebron James Family Foundation
Know Your Rights Camp
No New Jails
The Okra Project
(Nina Pop, Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Funds)
Social Works Chicago
The Loveland Foundation
Black Girls CODE
GirlTrek

Local To Boston:

The Massachusetts Bail Fund
ACLU
Inner City Weightlifting
Boston University Prison Education Program
Prison Book Program
Dorchester Youth Collaborative
Boston Youth Sanctuary

Self-Education through Social Media:


Rachel Cargle (@rachel.cargle): Rachel is a public academic, writer and lecturer, her work in activism and academic work provides intellectual discourse, tools and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood. Her social media guides dialogue that encourages critical thinking while nurturing engagement worldwide. In 2018 Rachel raised funds to support black women and girls gain access to mental health care; the response was overwhelming and Rachel used this response to develop The Loveland Foundation.

Layla F. Saad (@laylafsaad): Layla is an author, teacher and speaker. Layla creates inspiration, education and activation for personal and collective change. Layla’s personal mission surrounds leaving a legacy of healing and liberation as she confronts oppressive systems while offering tools for transforming consciousness, cultivating anti-racism practice and taking responsibility for personal and collective healing. Continue reading for Layla’s written contributions to this world.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham (@mspackyetti): Brittany is a leader at the intersection of culture and justice. Brittany is a co-founder of Campaign Zero, in 2018 Brittany brought to life Love + Power a space that believes in the limitless capacity of everyday humans to change the world. Daily, Brittany advocates for systemic change. Brittany’s work has been supported by many world leaders, Brittany has been supported and acknowledged in her efforts towards change throughout her years. Brittany was cited by President Barack Obama as ‘a leader whose voice is going to be making a difference for years to come’

“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.” (MLK)

Essential Reading:

White Fragility
Robing DiAngelo

Me and White Supremacy
Layla F. Saad

Women, Race & Class
Angela Y. Davis

So You Want to Talk About Race
Ijeoma Olou

The New Jim Crow
Michelle Alexander

The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

Redefining Realness
Janet Mock

How to be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi

Purchasing books in Boston, look to support local families by shopping at Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury.

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet

– Maya Angelou

Children’s Literature for our future leaders:

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders
Harry Belafonte

This Book is Anti-Racist
Tiffany Jewell

A Little Radical
Danica Russell

Let the Children March & Standing on her Shoulders
Monica Clark-Robinson

I Can Change the World
Jennifer Dewing

Same, Same but Different
Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Black is a Rainbow Color
Angela Joy

Just Like Me
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Podcasts:

1916 – The New York Times
About Race
Code Switch – NPR
Intersectionality Matters!
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
Pod for the Cause – From the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights.
Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Film:

13th
Ava Duvernay

American Son
Kenny Leon

When They See Us
Ava Duvernay
*I also recommend watching the aftermath interview with Oprah*

The Hate U Give
(Watch on HULU)

Just Mercy
(Available to Rent)

I Am Not Your Negro

Selma
(Available to Rent)

Time: The Kalief Browder Story

One further way to be more involved is community activism. I think these words often frighten people due to lack of understanding. Community activism is simply creating change and cultivating growth through engagement and deliberate action. Community activism, as we saw with Cavanaugh last week, is acknowledging a need for change and a gap in the process. Community activism is bridging this gap, lobbying for change, using our voice. Community activism is taking a role in the community around us, being part of a larger organization for change, using our right to vote in an educated manner, writing letters to those in positions of power advocating for specific needs or changes. Attend a meeting, align with another and build from the ground up. Community activism is happening everyday and it’s a beautiful movement to see, yet there is so much concern and misunderstanding around ‘activism’. Activism is in it’s most simple form, bringing about change.

Part of being involved in community activism or any movement towards change is conversation. We must examine the language we use in our lives. If you’re viewing the events of George Floyd’s death as “a bad egg” or someone “bad at their job” you are using the wrong language. The circumstances around George Floyd’s death was a murder, there is no other word for this. This action was committed by someone who wasn’t bad at their job, he used his role in the community for power and control, he used his role to not protect or serve but to inflict damage and take a life. This individual was not just a bad egg, he had no right to be in this uniform; the uniform which he used as a weapon.

There is an ongoing need for self-exploration, self-correction and learning. There are countless ways to be involved in this change. Policy change is a huge step. There are disparities in healthcare, access to resources, income, education, employment and housing to name a few. POC are exposed to discrimination, violence and poverty at a disproportionate rate. Research intersectionality if this is a new term to you, understand the impacts and crossover in human experience. Understand marginalization in today’s world. Now is a time for a recommitment to one another, a recommitment to speaking out against injustice and a recommitment to who we want to be as individuals and further, a collective whole. This is not a moment where we mute our social media’s and believe change will happen through this simple act, this is not a moment where we think that a social media post shows solidarity, this is a movement that is derived in every moment we emphasize change and use our voices for good.


Choose to see. Choose to act. Choose to care.
Remember their names, say their names, never remain silent.

No life should be reduced to a hashtag.
Black Lives Matter.


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