Happy Black History Month! I hope all of you will take the content you may have seen this month and find ways to apply it every single month going forward. Black History is American (and World) History. Here’s a great article by N’dea Yancey-Bragg called “Why is Black History Month in February? How do you celebrate? Everything you need to know.” (USA Today, 2/1/21)
This month, we had two great discussion events centered around (small) actions we can take and supporting each other in our anti-racist work. We’d love to hold more, ideally on a regular basis. More to come!
I would like to highlight an upcoming screening of “Pushout” being hosted by the Arlington Branch of the NAACP’s Education Committee on March 8.
I would also like to call particular attention to Angie Franklin’s “Ghosted by Allies: Why BIPOC Still Can’t Trust White People With Social Justice” (The Bold Italic, 2/4/21). Friends, this is where so much of the self-work of white people must be. White people have to choose this work, every day, over and over, no matter what. BIPOC do not get to choose — white supremacy and systemic racism choose for them.
- Theresa Vargas writes “In ‘achingly beautiful’ letters to Biden, students who are learning English, working full time and taking care of siblings share their hopes” about Arlington students (Washington Post, 2/6/21)
- Mary Kadera is running for Arlington School Board — check out her Equity page.
- The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney has a newsletter called “The Justice Digest” which has really great updates about a new Conviction Review Unit (CRU), a new Community Advisory Board, and an outline of the future of Restorative Justice in Arlington
- Challenging Racism is holding another session of “Learning How” starting March 4.
- Arlington County’s Police Practices Work Group released its recommendations.
- Arlington County is moving forward with its Affordable Housing Master Plan and you can find more about Missing Middle Housing.
- Robert McCartney writes “Coronavirus cost them their jobs. Government relief meant they could pay the rent.” about Arlington Thrive (Washington Post, 2/15/21)
- Now that Arlington County has agreed with activists to change its logo, it is seeking concepts from the public.
- Arlington Magazine highlights “10 Black History Icons, Landmarks and Milestones” (2/11/21)
- Rina Rapuano writes “Two Arlingtonians Honored with Black History Month Award” (Arlington Magazine, 2/18/21)
- Jane Green writes “Making Room: Arlington Can’t Afford to Ignore Fair Housing Anymore” (ArlNow, 2/1/21)
- Detta Kissel and Charles Head write “Progressive Voice: Municipal Broadband — Better, Faster, Cheaper” (ArlNow 2/8/21)
- Latrina M. Johnson writes “OPINION: A Black principal’s case against educator neutrality” (The Hechinger Report, 2/3/21)
- Organizing White Men For Collective Liberation
- We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina L. Love
- Eric Deggans speaks about “‘Not Racist’ Is Not Enough: Putting In The Work To Be Anti-Racist” (NPR, 8/25/20)
- Liz Clarke writes “‘End racism,’ the NFL implored. So what about the Chiefs’ name?” (Washington Post, 2/5/21)
- Mark Whitaker writes “400 years of the African American experience, told by a ‘choir’ of Black voices” (Washington Post, 2/5/21), book review of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019
- Ernest Owens writes “I don’t need or want corporations celebrating Black History Month” (Washington Post, 2/5/21)
- Hau Chu writes “Late-night TV sensation Amber Ruffin and her sister co-wrote a book about racism. And, yes, it’s hilarious.” (Washington Post, 2/8/21)
- Google is trying to make it easier to support Black-owned businesses.
- Keisha N. Blain writes “Five myths about Black history” (Washington Post, 2/19/21)
- John Kelly writes “The Great Migration becomes a great subject for District high school students” (Washington Post, 2/23/21)
- Haben Kelati writes “Blues singer ‘Big Mama’ Thornton had a hit with ‘Hound Dog.’ Then Elvis came along.” (Washington Post, 2/24/21)
- A group member shared “Resources for Conversations with Children about Anti-Racism” from Syracuse University Libraries
- Nicole Capó Martínez writes “Cross-sector infrastructure creates the foundation for systems change” (Strive Together, 2/23/21)
- McGuire Woods released a report called “ZONING AND SEGREGATION IN VIRGINIA: PART 1: Why Virginia Needs a Study of Zoning Laws and Their Connection to Segregation”
- John R. Crane writes “WATCH NOW: In passionate Averett speech, Stacey Abrams says building community requires trust, imagination, action” (Martinsville Bulletin, 1/17/21)
- Learning for Justice shares “Teaching Black History Beyond February” (2/24/21)
- The Atlantic created “Inheritance: A project about American history, Black life, and the resilience of memory”
- Krista Tippett hosts Resmaa Menakem in “Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence” (On Being, 6/4/20)
- Emily Giambalvo writes “It’s hard to find children’s books with Black characters, so a coach’s family wrote its own” (Washington Post, 2/12/21)
- Maria Sacchetti writes “Without citizenship, many Latinos in this Atlanta suburb stay silent” (Washington Post, 2/12/21)
- Jennifer Miller writes “For younger job seekers, diversity and inclusion in the workplace aren’t a preference. They’re a requirement.” (Washington Post, 2/18/21)
- Lala Tanmoy Das writes “The inclusivity trap: Asking patients for their pronouns helps us treat them — unless they shut down” (Washington Post, 2/19/21)
- Cristina Baussan, Letícia Duarte, Ottavia Spaggiari, and Sarah Stillman write “When Climate Change and Xenophobia Collide” (The New Yorker, 2/16/21)
- Sarah Holder writes “Who Maps the World?” (CityLab, 3/14/18)
- Kathleen Hou writes “Swallowing Our Bitterness” (The Cut, 2/19/21)
- Andrew Wang writes “Anti-Asian violence is surging. But we can’t answer bigotry with bigotry.” (Washington Post, 2/23/21)
- Madeleine Aggeler writes “The U.S. Is Seeing a Massive Spike in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes” (The Cut, 2/10/21)
- Theresa Vargas writes “They thought they’d be near the front of the line for the vaccine. Now, they don’t know where they stand.” (Washington Post, 2/13/21)
- Ari Shapiro writes “Early Data Shows Striking Racial Disparities In Who’s Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine” (NPR, 1/28/21)
- Abby Goodnough and Jan Hoffman write “The Wealthy Are Getting More Vaccinations, Even in Poorer Neighborhoods” (The New York Times, 2/2/21)
BASIC SURVIVAL NEEDS (HUNGER, HOUSING, HEALTH):
- Drew Friedman writes “In Arlington, Combating Hunger An All-Hands Effort” (Arlington Magazine, 2/4/21)
- Cathy Free writes “Restaurants throw away a lot of food. These volunteers pick it up first and take it to people who are hungry.” (Washington Post, 2/12/21)
- Washington Post staff write “Going to bed hungry” (Washington Post, 1/27/21)
- Michael Pollan writes “The efficiency curse” (Washington Post, 2/5/21)
- Kyle Swenson writes “The stimulus relieved short-term pain, but eviction’s impact is a long haul” (Washington Post, 2/8/21)
- Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib write “Opinion: Water is a human right. It’s time we start treating it as one.” (Washington Post, 2/15/21)
- Jerusalem Demsas writes “America’s racist housing rules really can be fixed” (Vox, 2/17/21)
- Nimra Shahid and Marie Patino write “A New Survey of New Yorkers Exposes Pandemic Inequality” (CityLab, 2/24/21)
- Pam Fessler writes “For Black Families, Evictions Are Still At A Crisis Point — Despite Moratorium” (NPR, 2/24/21)
- Nick Martin writes “How to Stop Poisoning Children” (The New Republic, 2/19/21)
- Abigail Williams and Peace Gwam write “Domestic Violence Survivors Urgently Need Housing Stability and Solutions during the Pandemic” (Urban Institute, 2/2/21)
- United For Alice advocates for people who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Learn more about this group in Virginia so you can incorporate their lived experiences into your advocacy.
- Fredrick Kunkle writes “Auto insurers unfairly set rates based on drivers’ education and occupations, consumer group says” (Washington Post, 1/28/21)
- Theresa Vargas writes “An announcement about a cherished community hub turned into real talk about the need for Black D.C. residents to own a piece of the city” (Washington Post, 2/3/21)
- Robert McCartney writes “Historian: Black Power Movement once thrived in D.C., but recent mayors have “set aside” its goal of empowering poor” (Washington Post, 2/8/21)
- Harold J. Logan writes “Opinion: Black Americans can get ahead by enlisting the support of American capitalists” (Washington Post, 2/9/21)
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition released its latest Tenant Talk report, “The Enduring Crisis: Fighting for Racial & Housing Justice” (Winter 2021, Volume 12, Issue 1)
- Jennifer Blatz writes “Blatz: Biden Must Make Student Loan Forgiveness a Priority — Not Just for Graduates, But for the Economy and for Long-Term Fairness” (The 74 Million, 2/22/21)
- Oliver Milman writes “‘People should be alarmed’: air pollution in US subway systems stuns researchers” (The Guardian, 2/10/21)
- Cinnamon Janzer writes “What Role Can Cities Play in Reparations? Some Aim to Find Out” (Next City, 2/10/21)
- Perry Stein writes “The racial disparities over who is returning to D.C. classrooms puts equity spotlight on reopening plan” (Washington Post, 1/30/21)
- Rucker C. Johnson’s book Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works (2019)
- Heather Osterman-Davis writes “I’m a Disabled Parent. It Took a Pandemic to Let Me Join the P.T.A.” (New York Times, 2/2/21)
- Here’s a better link about the Leading Equity Center’s “Annihilating Racial Injustice in Schools” content.
- The Leading Equity Center shared “How Can I be Antiracist in a Virtual Environment?”
- Danielle Douglas-Gabriel and John D. Harden write “To protect taxpayer dollars, the Education Dept. is disproportionately auditing Black and Latino college students” (Washington Post, 2/7/21)
- Arlene Ford writes “OPINION: How the racism of ‘good’ teachers can hurt kids” (The Hechinger Report, 2/23/21)
- Tina Deines writes “Outdoor preschools grow in popularity but most serve middle-class white kids” (The Hechinger Report, 2/19/21)
- Caroline Preston and Sarah Butrymowicz write “How the pandemic has altered school discipline — perhaps forever” (The Hechinger Report, 2/20/21)
- Jon Marcus writes “As admissions season descends, wealthier applicants once again have the advantage” (The Hechinger Report, 2/19/21)
- Integrated Schools has two new podcasts called “Third Wave School Desegregation: A Call for Real Integration” (2/3/21) and “EPIC’s “Nothing About Us”: Youth Theater on Integration” (2/17/21)
- Michael A. DiNapoli Jr. writes “Eroding Opportunity: COVID-19’s Toll on Student Access to Well-Prepared and Diverse Teachers” (Learning Policy Institute, 2/10/21)
- New America shares resources about “Culturally Responsive Education Resources for Federal, State, and Local Stakeholders”
- Unidos US shared “A Path Forward for Latinos: Laying the Groundwork for Equity in Higher Education” (2020)
- Rebecca Epstein and Toella Pliakas write “Opinion: The police must see Black girls as the children they are” (Washington Post, 2/3/21)
- Robert Klemko writes “An American police killing viewed through the eyes of policing experts in three countries” (Washington Post, 2/22/21)
- Amelia Thomson-Devaux, Laura Bronner and Damini Sharma “Police Misconduct Costs Cities Millions Every Year. But That’s Where The Accountability Ends.” (The Marshall Project, 2/22/21)
- The ACLU hosted “How Do We End Racism in Policing?” (2/1/21)
- Marc Fisher writes “Eroding trust, spreading fear: The historical ties between pandemics and extremism” (Washington Post, 2/15/21)
- The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual “The Year in Hate and Extremism” report.
- Lecia Brooks, chief of staff of the SPLC, testified to Congress about “Dollars against Democracy: Domestic Terrorist Financing in the Aftermath of Insurrection” (2/25/21)
Because my updates are coming less frequently, I am often unable to tell all of you about upcoming action items. Our Facebook page is better about this (thanks to Leah!), and you can also subscribe to updates from these organizations:
- Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), SURJ NoVa, and SURJ DC
- NAACP, Arlington Chapter NAACP
- National Low Income Housing Coalition
- Black Lives Matter
- Color of Change
- We of Action (WofA VA)
Please share others you rely on for your anti-racist action items!
Listen. Amplify. Follow.