I’m inviting each of you to join us for a virtual supportive conversation with group members called “Going Together”. We’re holding the event during two different dates — February 10 and February 17. Please feel free to come to one or both. We look forward to seeing you there. If this goes well, we’ll consider hosting more to support your anti-racism work.
I’m also excited to announce that I’m participating in Arlington For Justice’s “Let’s Talk” series on February 2. Please tune in on Facebook live and ask questions.
I’m thinking differently about how I categorize the resources I share with all of you, and that translates to how we think about the work we are doing to address injustices in our communities. One of my current touchstones is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which clarifies the priorities of human survival and ability to thrive. The baseline includes food and shelter, followed by safety, followed by love and belonging.
- I am consistently distressed at our society’s dependence upon charity and volunteers to meet the baseline needs of our community members who are hungry and/or without shelter. While there are governmental programs that attempt to address these needs, they are wholly inadequate. What is it about our society that we relegate people who are suffering from basic survival needs to a safety net full of holes and gaps in coverage?
- I am more and more motivated to understand human belonging and what happens when members of our communities are rejected or cast out of society and belonging. Is this a factor in what drives people to hate and violence? And if so, what are we doing as individuals and as a society to change the way we react to inappropriate behavior? This is one of the huge differences between our current criminal system and restorative justice, for example. But this also applies to our personal relationships — what are we each doing to call people in, to facilitate their progress along the continuum from actively racist to actively anti-racist?
- I am also personally aware of my own tendencies towards white saviorism, something I work every day to unlearn, but that you might see come across sometimes in my updates and my focus on our most vulnerable community members. Know that my hope is not for more feel-good bandaid efforts, however, but that my hope is for systemic change that addresses the root causes of suffering so that the charitable and volunteer work is no longer relied upon for survival.
I hope all of you have had the chance to breathe a little more deeply since January 20. While it is good and right to celebrate that milestone, it is also good and right to remember that the work continues. Very little has truly changed about the challenges that still face us. Our new national leadership will not be able to accomplish its goals without our continued advocacy and activism propelling them forward. Do not be too quick to forget the realities we have just left behind — they will not remain in the past for they are following us, waiting for another chance to challenge our resolve. We must not rest; we must show that our vision for the future is stronger than theirs, because it includes all of us.
Monica Hesse writes “Inauguration Day was a milestone, but it’s not the destination” (Washington Post, 1/20/21). The only way to go is forward.
- The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, Virginia has relocated to 2611 Columbia Pike. They will be reopening to the public soon! They expressed appreciation to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) for their assistance in their unexpected, last minute relocation.
- APS is looking for more members for the Advisory Council on Teaching & Learning (ACTL) and the Budget Advisory Council (BAC). You can find out more here (including how to apply). This is a good way to add more anti-racist voices to the groups who advise our Superintendent and the School Board.
- A reminder that Arlington County is engaged in its Housing Arlington: Affordable Housing Master Plan Review process. They are holding listening tour meetings with each zip code as well as accepting online feedback.
- Rock Spring UCC and Calloway Methodist UMC created “Courageous Conversations for our Community: How to Be an Anti-Racist in Arlington” (PDF, January 2021)
- Emma Rubin at The COVID Tracking Project created this graphic, comparing “Highest Racial Disparities in Case Fatality Rates” as of October 21, 2020, which includes Arlington, VA compared nationally and to other parts of the country. Thanks to the Arlington chapter of the NAACP for sharing this.
RESPONSES TO THE JANUARY 6 CAPITOL INSURRECTION:
- Robert Klemko, Kimberly Kindy, Kim Bellware and Derek Hawkins write “Kid glove treatment of pro-Trump mob contrasts with strong-arm police tactics against Black Lives Matter, activists say” (Washington Post, 1/6/21)
- Michele L. Norris writes “Believe what you saw. With all this country’s white grievance, it was inevitable.” (Washington Post, 1/7/21)
- Petula Dvorak writes “Did you see the law enforcement response to the rioters taking over the Capitol? This is what White privilege looks like.” (Washington Post, 1/7/21)
- Steve Inskeep writes “How Police Handled Pro-Trump Mob Compared With Protesters For Black Racial Justice” (NPR, 1/7/21)
- Petula Dvorak writes “The Trump mob gave us #GuyOnPorch and #WomanInCar — the real Americans” (Washington Post, 1/8/21)
- Mark Guarino, Amy B. Wang and Brady Dennis write “Black Americans reflect on a brutal week: ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’” (Washington Post, 1/9/21)
- Courtland Milloy writes “The riot at the Capitol shouldn’t have been a surprise. We were all warned.” (Washington Post, 1/12/21)
- Thomas B. Edsall writes “White Riot: How racism, grievance, resentment and the fear of diminished status came together to fuel violence and mayhem on Jan. 6.” (The New York Times, 1/13/21)
- Cristina Beltrán writes “To understand Trump’s support, we must think in terms of multiracial Whiteness” (Washington Post, 1/15/21)
- Ann Hornaday writes “While Hollywood looked for perfect villains, they were hiding in plain sight” (Washington Post, 1/15/21)
- A group member recommended watching “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.
- Zak Cheney-Rice writes “The Never-ending Coup Against Black America” (New York Magazine, 1/4/21)
- Kriston Capps writes “The Double Standard for Policing Capitol Rioters and BLM Protesters” (CityLab, 1/7/21)
- Sarah Holder and Nicole Flatow write “How the Capitol Insurrection Should Have Been Handled, According to Police Leaders” (CityLab, 1/8/21)
- Christine Emba writes “Want to thank Black women? Here’s how.” (Washington Post, 1/6/21)
- Monica Hesse writes “Meghan McCain learned about the need for maternity leave the hard way. Nobody should have to.” (Washington Post, 1/5/21). She points out that our personal experiences often lead us to advocate for improved rights and access. How can we advocate for these things for other people without having to have the personal experience ourselves? Compassion and empathy. Believe people when they share experiences very different from yours.
- John-John Williams IV writes “Black professor at Loyola University Maryland establishes institute for positive dialogue” (Washington Post, 1/10/21)
- SURJ shared a webinar with scholar activist Robin DG Kelley called “White Backlash: Why It Happens and How We Fight Back” (January 2021)
- SURJ-DC shared its Resources page, which has actions you can take as well.
- Marian Wright Edelman writes “In This Defining Moment Truth Must Prevail” (Children’s Defense Fund, 1/22/21)
- Frances Maurer writes “Nestlé’s Latest Exploits” (Lakota People’s Law Project, 1/13/21)
- Margaret Neale, Sarah Soule, and Hannah Yanow created “Anti-Racism and Allyship 7 Day Journey” (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
- Axios created “Hard Truths” — “If you’re white or rich, it’s easy to believe that racism is something that ended years ago. But the hard truth is: That’s not supported by facts. Our society, institutions and culture are still filled with barriers that shut out people because of the color of their skin, the origins of where they were born and other factors they can’t control. Axios Hard Truths is a year-long project to go deeper and explain how race and inequality holds us back.”
BASIC SURVIVAL NEEDS (HUNGER, HOUSING, HEALTH):
- Emily Davies writes “Tired of waiting on the government, hungry Americans turn to one another for help” (Washington Post, 12/31/20)
- Greg Jaffe and Laura Reiley writes “At Ivanka Trump’s urging, White House announces new $1.5 billion in funding for Farmers to Families Food Box program” (Washington Post, 1/4/21)
- Hannah Natanson writes “What it’s like to learn online from inside a homeless shelter” (Washington Post, 1/3/21)
- Lisa Wise writes “Housing justice is a basic human right” (Washington Post, 1/15/21)
- Tonya Russell writes “Mortality rate for Black babies is cut dramatically when Black doctors care for them after birth, researchers say” (Washington Post, 1/13/21)
- Cory Turner, Christine Herman and Rhitu Chatterjee write “‘I’ve Tried Everything’: Pandemic Worsens Child Mental Health Crisis” (NPR, 1/18/21)
- Donna St. George and Valerie Strauss write “Partly hidden by isolation, many of the nation’s schoolchildren struggle with mental health” (Washington Post, 1/21/21)
- Sarah Kaplan writes “Battling America’s ‘dirty secret’: Climate change raises the risk from failing sewage systems. So Catherine Coleman Flowers is working for a new way to deal with waste.” (Washington Post, 12/17/20)
- Courtland Milloy writes “One mother’s #BlackMaternalHealth was made better by having a Black doctor” (Washington Post, 1/26/21)
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition shares a “New Report Identifies the Housing Goals Essential for Upward Economic Mobility” (1/19/21)
- Max Reyes and Kriston Capps write “Is there a Better Way to Collect Data on Homelessness?” (CityLab, 1/22/21)
- Sarah Holder writes “How Fear Took Over the American Suburbs” (CityLab, 1/14/21)
PUBLIC SPACES, HISTORY, AND REMEMBERING:
- Gillian Brockell writes “Controversial Lincoln statue is removed in Boston, but remains in D.C.” (Washington Post, 12/29/20)
- Karen Attiah writes “Don’t ‘better explain’ the Emancipation Memorial. Put up monuments to Black people instead.” (Washington Post, 12/31/20)
- Philip Kennicott writes “New Native American memorial offers peace in the heart of one of the city’s few wild spaces” (Washington Post, 12/31/20)
- E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes “2021’s call to Reconstruction” (Washington Post, 1/3/21)
- Joshua D. Rothman writes “OPINION: Mobs of white citizens rioting have been commonplace in the United States for centuries” (The Hechinger Report, 1/8/21)
- Taylor Telford writes “Meet InReturn Strategies, a start-up intent on unlocking the value of America’s disabled workforce” (Washington Post, 1/5/21)
- Anita DeFrantz writes “‘World’s greatest athlete’ Jim Thorpe was wronged by bigotry. The IOC must correct the record.” (Washington Post, 1/13/21)
- Alexandre Tanzi writes “White American Wealth Hits Record High on Pandemic Stocks Surge” (Bloomberg, 1/5/21)
- Ron Charles writes “Mateo Askaripour’s ‘Black Buck’ is an irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America” (Washington Post, 1/4/21)
- Tracy Jan writes “U.S. trade policies have disproportionately harmed Black and Latino workers, not just the White working class Trump courted, researchers find” (Washington Post, 1/8/21)
- Douglas MacMillan, Peter Whoriskey and Jonathan O’Connell write “America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work” (Washington Post, 12/16/20)
- Theresa Vargas writes “People are sending thank you cards to the Capitol’s cleaning crew. They deserve our gratitude. And more.” (Washington Post, 1/16/21)
- Tracy Jan writes “The ‘whitewashing’ of Black Wall Street: A century after the Tulsa massacre, Black entrepreneurs in the city’s Greenwood district feel threatened with erasure yet again, amid demands for reparations” (Washington Post, 1/17/21)
- Tracy Jan writes “The Trump economy left Black Americans behind. Here’s how they want Biden to narrow the gaps.” (Washington Post, 1/22/21)
- Willow Lung-Amam writes “The Next New Deal Must Be for Black Americans, Too” (CityLab, 1/18/21)
- Meredith Kolodner writes “Do income-based repayment plans drive young borrowers of color deeper into debt?” (The Hechinger Report, 1/15/21)
- Sarah Holder writes “2021 Will Be the Year of Guaranteed Income Experiments” (CityLab, 1/4/21)
- Adam K. Edgerton writes “The Importance of Getting Tutoring Right” (Learning Policy Institute, 1/21/21)
- Dr. Prudence L. Carter gives a presentation called “Inseparate and Unequal: The unfulfilled dream of an equitable education in America” (ColumbiaDC, 1/15/21)
- Jill Barshay writes “PROOF POINTS: 10,000 student study points to kindergarteners who may become heavy screen users” (The Hechinger Report, 1/18/21)
- The Leading Equity Center shared “Annihilating Racial Injustice in Schools,” an outline of a webinar training.
- Maria E. Hyler, Desiree Carver-Thomas, Marjorie Wechsler, Larkin Willis write “Districts Advancing Racial Equity (DARE) Tool” for addressing inequities in our schools (12/29/20).
- Paige Fernandez writes “Black Life Deserves More Than Meaningless Commissions” (ACLU, 1/5/21) — for a great list of areas of advocacy going forward.
- Fola Akinnibi, Sarah Holder, and Christopher Cannon write “Cities Say They Want to Defund the Police. Their Budgets Say Otherwise.” (CityLab, 1/12/21)
Listen. Amplify. Follow.