Plenty of Inspiration for Anti-Racist Work

Hi Friends!
Welcome back to school for those of you at Barcroft! A reminder that our meet and greet event with Parisa is this evening at 7:30 pm. If you haven’t RSVP’d, you can still come! Just let me know.
We’re coming up on two years since this group’s founding (August 22, 2017) and I used to wonder whether I’d have enough content to share on a weekly basis. I don’t wonder that anymore, in fact, I’m trying hard not to fill my weekly updates only with current events! It may be that you wish for the time when racism wasn’t constantly discussed/on display, but consider this — you can’t fix it if you don’t see it. For those of us in the group who are white, we were able to exist in our bubbles of privilege, believing that we had entered a “post racial” era. We can’t believe that anymore, which means that we can now work to be a part of truly ending white supremacy.
I was sorry to hear about Toni Morrison’s death and there have been many lovely tributes and memories shared about her incredible contributions to humanity. Take her words to heart and use what you have to make things better for someone else.
Did anyone attend the listening session last weekend (August 10)? I was out of town and so sorry to miss it — I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- One week ago, ICE arrested nearly 700 people, leaving many children to come home to empty houses. There are many organizations trying to help them and their families — here’s one, which is splitting donations among six different organizations working in Mississippi. VACOLAO is rallying on Friday, August 16 from 12–1 pm in front of ICE headquarters (500 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20536).
- The Black Parents of Arlington advocacy group put together a report on racial disparities in Arlington’s schools. The pamphlet they created is here. There has also been some recent AEM discussion about it. The more we amplify this to APS, the more likely it will be that they take action to address it.
Watch this space for information about the APS Superintendent search and how the community will be engaged in the process.
Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) is coordinating a backpack drive for children who have a parent incarcerated locally. You can also help them stuff and deliver backpacks by registering here.
- Shaun King’s Flip the Senate campaign has launched and needs volunteers and support.
Ibram X. Kendi has a new book out called How to Be an Antiracist, clarifying that one can either be racist or anti-racist. There is no in-between. I’m making this an action, not a resource because, as his website states, “How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.” Sounds like required reading for this group (including me!)!
- Desegregation (integration?) news from California schools proving school district officials kept children of color out of a white area. The settlement could be groundbreaking and many lawsuits are taking place nationally, appealing to state laws to enforce desegregation.
- The Administration again is threatening immigrants with the “public charge” rule, which, of course, has racist origins.
Washington DC and Northern Virginia are pushing back against Administration proposals to build shelters for unaccompanied minors who cross the border. You can also check out Close the Camps.
- A reminder about Race/Related at The New York Times (which you can access for free if you create an account), particularly in its recent coverage of the five year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death (August 10) in Ferguson.
- Please also check out the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project: “The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”
- August 6 was an anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and this article from Nancy Abudu in Essence discusses what steps still need to happen for voting rights to be restored and for suppression to end.
- Two new studies have come out recently about the disparities in the way police treat white and POC suspects.
- The SPLC put together a video tribute, “Two Years After Charlottesville” (August 12).
- Apparently traffic jams are caused by segregation.
- From one of our group members: “After a summer break, The African American Authors Discussion Group will start monthly sessions again on Friday September 20, at 7:30 pm. We will talk about Stamped From the Beginning, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi. The book has won several awards and has been described as “A staggering intellectual history of racism in America that is both rigorous…and readable.” New Republic. At 500 pages the book is a commitment, but even if you just read one or two of the five sections, you might like to join the discussion.”
- SURJ DC is hosting a Queer and Trans White People Dismantling White Supremacy series of workshops in September.
- The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington is hosting a discussion on Jennie Dean and Jennie Dean Park on August 27.
- EmbraceRace is hosting a conversation called “‘It’s a Shared Sentence,” Parents, Kids and the Cost of Incarceration” on August 27. Remember, if you register, you can watch the recording later if that date/time don’t work for your schedule.
SURJ National is hosting three event calls:
- Dean Spade — Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Survival and Mobilization on Thursday, August 15
- Organizing Men for Collective Liberation with Matt McGorry — Get Active Against White Male Supremacy! on Sunday, August 18
- Mab Segrest — Memoir of a Race Traitor: Fighting Racism in the American South on Monday, August 26
Keep lifting up.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

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