Let's Get To Work

Hi Friends,

Welcome to our newest members — the group continues to grow! We are happy to have each and every one of you engaging in this work.

On this last day of June, which is also Pride Month, I’d like to share some specific resources:
GiveOUT Day (TODAY!) — a national day of giving for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Learn about CasaRuby, a local organization dedicated to providing social services and programs and is run and led by transgender women of color.
- Andrew Nguyen writes about “Ways You Can Support the Black LGBTQ+ Community” (The Cut, 6/4/20)

- Sarah Bellamy writes about “Performing Whiteness” (Paris Review, 6/8/20)
- Gene Demby asks “Why Now, White People?” (Code Switch, NPR, 6/16/20)
- American University is hosting a Summer Institute on Education, Equity, and Justice, and you can watch the webinar recordings for free on their website
- Ruth Marcus writes “If you don’t believe systemic racism is real, explain these statistics” (Washington Post, 6/12/20) — especially the quote from Radley Balko, “To declare the system racist is not to brand those who participate in it as intentionally, repugnantly, guilty of prejudice.”
- Sydney Trent writes about “Young Asians and Latinos push their parents to acknowledge racism amid protests” (Washington Post, 6/22/20)
- Benita Talati writes “Marching Will Not End Racism” (Arlington Magazine, 6/23/20)
- Tim Hughes writes “It’s Way Past Time to Step Up, White People” (Arlington Magazine, 6/24/20)

- Perry Stein writes about “In debate over school shuttle, Capitol Hill parents confront race, equity — and their commutes” (Washington Post, 6/17/20) — keep resource hoarding in mind when you read this. Nikole Hannah-Jones talks about this specifically: “What I’m dealing with are public schools which are publicly funded for the public good. Every child should walk into a public school and get the same education. Those are the parents that I’m speaking to. What we are finding are parents who say they believe in a common good but they want a public school that operates like a private school — you can screen out the kids you don’t want, you can hoard resources in the school, you can hoard all the best teachers, you can determine what curriculum you’re going to get. And if that means that two miles down the road, another publicly-funded school doesn’t get any of that, then so be it. That, to me, is the height of hypocrisy.” (The Atlantic, 12/14/17)

- Travis M. Andrews writes about how “These best friends created a wildly popular Google doc about how to be an ally to the black community” (Washington Post, 6/19/20). Their website/organization, Justice in June, is really well organized for anyone new to this work and it’s an amazing resource. Please check it out!

- Jamil Zaki writes about how “Calls for racial justice gained steam with empathy” (Washington Post, 6/20/20) — the dynamic between empathy and power, including “By contrast, high-status individuals don’t have to understand others’ perspective to survive. This is one way privilege works its way into our minds. Not only are privileged people exempt from material struggles, they can comfortably ignore everyone else’s.” Empathy is a learned quality and needs to be exercised regularly, like a muscle. It’s directly connected to white privilege.

- Caitlin Gibson writes about “What five black fathers are saying to their children about this historic moment” (Washington Post, 6/19/20)
- Robert McCartney writes “Police critic says officers need more money and less stress, along with greater accountability” (Washington Post, 6/22/20)
- Jerry Brewer writes “What we see in a flag or a noose or a black racer is telling. We can do better.” (Washington Post, 6/24/20) Also check out Black Lives Matter’s “What Matters” Episode 5 “Talking Activism with Bubba Wallace.”
- Integrated Schools podcast, Episode 22 “I Hope They Hear It In Our Voices” (from 5/15/19)
- Caroline Randall Williams writes “You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument” (New York Times, 6/26/20)
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Stephen Colbert have a conversation (Mashable, 6/26/20)

- Curtiss Sarikey writes about “School-Based Health Centers: Trusted Lifelines in a Time of Crisis” (Learning Policy Institute, 6/18/20) — what if we pushed for this kind of model in Arlington schools, bringing resources to school locations (and community centers and other strategic locations, much like food/supply distribution efforts have emerged during the crisis) to provide ongoing support to residents and families in a cohesive way. One of the things concerning me for the sustainability of our efforts to serve vulnerable residents is the fact that families trying to access support (food, rent assistance, etc.) have to spend significant time and resources accessing these things, traveling to many different sites over the course of a week, and repeat this week after week. Centrally located full-service centers would make a HUGE difference and schools are already a trusted community resource. How do we think about this for Arlington?

- Sergio PeƧanha presents clear statistics to illustrate American racism in “These numbers show that black and white people live in two different Americas” (Washington Post, 6/23/20). I’m including this resource in this section because I believe that each one of us has expertise or interest in at least one of the areas illustrated by the article (infant and maternal mortality, housing, poverty, unemployment, education, criminal justice). This means that each of us can take an intentional interest in addressing systemic racism where we are already passionate and/or experienced. And if you don’t have a connection to one of those already, please choose one and commit to learning about it and speaking up about it.

- One on one conversations are often how minds are changed. Integrated Schools offers an “Awkward Conversations Guide” for discussing schools and the choices families make about which ones their children attend.

- The Inclusive Schools Network shares information about the importance of resilience and the difficult challenges facing both students and teachers as we move towards the upcoming school year.

- The Legal Aid Justice Center has a petition for protecting renters in Virginia
- Sign up for and support Arlington for Justice
- Register for and watch “A live Conversation With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Creator of The 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones” on July 7 from 2:00–3:00 pm. Unfortunately, this event will not be recorded.
- VOICE has a petition for preventing evictions during the pandemic
- Integrated Schools has a webinar for families thinking about schools and racial justice on July 13.
- Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) has a Community Chat on July 7 and other events scheduled throughout the summer.
Hollaback has lots of bystander intervention trainings and resources on their website.
Service Never Sleeps Virtual Allyship Program (5 sessions on Weds from 1–2:30 pm starting July 1)
- VACOLAO is hosting an Information Session for Service Providers on Policies and Issues: Immigration, Housing, and Worker Rights During the Covid-19 Crisis — July 1 from 11–12. Register here.

Please feel free to reach out anytime, if you have questions, are struggling with something in particular, or have resources to share. We’re here to support each of you in your anti-racist journey.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Pity and White Saviorism

Hi Friends!
I hope you’re well and healthy and enjoying the mostly mild summer weather we’ve been having!
I want to talk this week about a common detour that white people experience when they are new to anti-racist work. When a person emerges from their bubble of ignorance into the reality of white supremacy and racism, they can experience a range of emotions, from pain to embarrassment to guilt to shame. This is normal. Often, a white person will start reading and learning and trying to understand how they could have been blind to so much discrimination, unaware of the lived realities of many of their community members. Sometimes, this process will lead us down the path of pity and white saviorism. This can easily happen because many of the sources that discuss slavery and the persistent disadvantages people of color experience (because of systemic racism) also portray people of color solely as victims and not as agents of survival, resilience, and change.
You can see pity at work in the recent article about MONA considering expanding into South Arlington. While the intentions of the people raising concerns about the silence around racism in the community and within the group (because nearly all groups have some racism) were good, the white saviorism, the “poor South Arlington families” assumptions, are offensive and misguided.
This is why the self-work must continue. We have to recognize these pitfalls along the road and work to unlearn them, too. White supremacy is not a box of confederate flags and racist imagery that we can just leave behind at the dump. It’s woven into everything, so as we move along the continuum towards anti-racism, we have to keep shedding its influence and keep resisting its attempts to corrupt us anew.
Some great resources for you this week:
- “THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE” from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001. Get ready. This one will set you back on your heels — I see myself in so much of this. More work to do!
- “Helpful Rebuttals For Racist* Talking Points” from @CharCubed • Inspired by: @sujoy_shah, which sheds a lot of light on how to have these conversations and also undermines a lot of the doubts we might have about these topics.
- “Race and Privilege: An Overdue Conversation” is an incredible guide for having conversations about race with another person. I’m very excited to have this and to be able to model future conversations on this guide.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Juneteenth and Opportunities For Action

Hi Friends,
I hope you are safe and healthy. Thank you for all of the interest in having Facing Race in Arlington host a training or two. We’re working on putting that together. We’re also working on facilitating some discussions for our members, so watch for more information about that soon.
There are a few upcoming events that might interest you:
- Thursday, June 18 (TONIGHT) from 6–8 pm, the Arlington County Board is hosting a “Virtual Listening Session on Policing and Racial Justice
- Monday, June 22 from 7–8:30 pm, Arlington Public Schools is hosting a “Let’s Talk: A Community Discussion on Racism
- If you’re interested in joining the Arlington NAACP Chapter, they will have a New Member Orientation on Thursday, June 24
Juneteenth celebrations are happening this weekend, starting Friday! Please check them out:
SixNineteen (organized by Movement for Black Lives)
Juneteenth for Justice (organized by Yolande Kwinana)
Arlington Black Employees Council Juneteenth Peace Rally
NAACP Community Outreach Event in Green Valley
Please share other opportunities if you see them.
Please engage with this image:
- Grace Haley and Ian Karbal write about how “Amid calls for police reform, new dataset shows where police money has flowed in Congress” (OpenSecrets.org, 6/5/20)
- EmbraceRace email update with LOTS of resources and great information including how to engage with your kids about these subjects
- Video “Authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi on how to become aware of privilege” (CBS News, 6/5/20)
- Lorraine Berry shared “13 great books about the black experience in America” (LA Times, 6/4/20)
- Devon Kidd suggests “3 Questions White Students Should Ask Themselves Before Checking In On Black Classmates” (HuffPost, 6/14/20)
- Arlington Magazine has a section on Race & Equity with some interesting stories.
- Harvard Business School shared a case study on “African American Inequality in the United States,” available for free (Harvard Business School, 9/30/19, revised 6/15/20)
Listen. Amplify. Follow.