SUBJECT: Anti-racist resources
Dear IB community,
Expect a note soon from IB’s Racism and Criminal Justice Reform team with information on their current initiatives and how you can contribute. In the meantime…
For the white people who are part of Indivisible Berkeley: as they say, the best time to become an active ally was 20+ years ago. The second best time is now. Don’t get overwhelmed, just get started.
Recognizing that everyone is at a different stage of awareness and action, this email isn’t all-inclusive – there are dozens, if not hundreds, of lists circulating right now online on how to get more educated. This is just one more offering, partially in response to folks who responded last week and said it would be helpful to get some suggestions.
- Read at least two of these articles and one of these books mentioned in this guide by the end of the month: Anti-racism resources for white people.
- Steering plug for some specific resources: White Fragility, James Baldwin: The Last Interview, and the Seeing White podcast. FYI: there’s a Reading Group Guide available for White Fragility.
Support local Black-owned small businesses:
- Restaurants and multiple damn good cupcake shops
- Marcus Books (call 510-652-2344 and they can ship directly or arrange curbside pickup) (go ahead and kick into their GoFundMe, too)
Donate to at least one of these important causes today:
- Front-line organizations helping #BlackLivesMatter protestors (link provided by national Indivisible and donations will be split equally among the 7 excellent groups listed)
- Black candidates running for office in 2020
This comes last for a reason. It’s too easy to get caught up in feeling like you need to do something to perform activism in this moment.
We cannot emphasize this enough: do the hard inner work of seeing systems at work, in the world and within yourself. Then act decisively to dismantle white supremacy, in the world and within yourself.
Per our mention at the top of this note, we’ll be sharing additional specifics from the RCJR Team on local actions in the near future. Here are some suggestions that align with recommendations from the team at National Indivisible:
- Call our local officials and tell them to defund the Berkeley police department and invest those funds in resources people need, especially for Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color. See this link too for Berkeley-community-generated actions. This is in support of the asks of local Black-led organizations like Reclaim the Block and national Black-led organizations like Movement for Black Lives, which are demanding that local governments commit to cutting funding for the police and investing it in Black community-led education, health and safety programs (such as funding for schools and youth homelessness services, solutions to the opioid crisis, and non-police responders for crises such as mental health response teams and community violence prevention programs).
- Use the Winning Justice Prosecutor Project from Color of Change to make calls to keep pressure on the two District Attorneys to take responsibility for the large role they played in delaying justice for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Make calls now.
- Use Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait resource to demand your local officials enact 8 policies that research shows can reduce police violence by 72%. Take action now.
- Use the 8 to Abolition resource to learn about 8 steps to build toward a society without police or prisons. Learn more here.
Indivisibly, IB Steering
P.S. Like Stacey Abrams, we believe that there is a strong role here for the power of elections here, but we suspect that is not a surprise to anyone getting this email (and if you’re interested, you can definitely jump over to our Elections Team info for options). In this email we wanted to hold space for the other types of activities listed. Michelle Alexander points out that just voting for Democrats is not enough to be an anti-racist. It’s a yes/and situation!