My four-year-old daughter came home from school one day not too long ago and said, “Mommy, did you know they used to say some people couldn’t do certain things because of the color of their skin? DID YOU KNOW THAT!?!?!” Her anti-bias curriculum had begun and I was totally unprepared to answer questions about these events and about those who stood up for equality. People my daughter, no doubt, now views as superheroes.
When she asked me why these things happened, I said the only thing I could think of that would make sense to her, “well, you’re growing up and learning what is right and what is wrong, and the world has to grow up too.”
I hate that we had to have that conversation, I hate that I didn’t have the courage to tell her these things are NOT all in the past, and I hate that the world has not grown up, but has institutionalized racism and discrimination in a more covert way than I could possibly explain right now to my daughter and son.
But mostly, I hate that whatever discomfort, pain, sadness, and anger I feel as a mother, is so microscopic compared to the magnitude of anguish people of color, must feel for their children. I hate that such suffering exists and I hate that I will never truly be able to understand it.
Honestly, I’ve been toiling all week about what to say. Another microscopic discomfort that is amplified a million times over for people of color. I wish we could flip a switch and just be people, no suffix needed. But that is not the world we are living in.
Here is what we feel we can do to help right now. We are all ears for additional feedback.
We will be making ongoing donations to black-led organizations such as, Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, and the NAACP.
We will be inclusive in the workplace and in our content creation.
We will support black-owned businesses and business partners.
We will speak up to our friends and family and educate our children.
We will vote.
We will re-evaluate what we are doing as an ally on a regular basis.
Here are some additional resources and action steps that we want to share.
A global organization working to eradicate white supremacy and amplify black voices.
Working to sustain black leadership in Minnesota.
Supporting the research of police practice across the country. They've created a 10-step plan
for ending police brutality, along with a list of 8 policies
that can decrease police violence and information on your city's policies.
Providing for the ongoing needs of George Floyd's family.
Helping the Taylor family seek justice for Breonna Taylor's murder.
Helping to post bail and support medically vulnerable people held in NYC jails.
Working to post bail and make sure no trans person is at risk in NYC jails.
Fighting for justice in the Twin City area.
RECLAIM THE BLOCK
Works with the Minneapolis community to relocate funding to promote health and safety for the community.
A critical organization in protecting civil rights.
Working to secure the rights of the black community and eliminate discrimination. They've also created this template email
you can send to your Congressional representatives.
Preventing the mass incarceration of black lives.
Working to educate communities on racial inequity and injustice.
Bringing attention to police violence against black women, girls, and femmes and demanding justice.
Helping to exonerate the wrongly convicted and reform the criminal justice system.
A Twin Cities organization supporting victims of police brutality.
Working to fight against NYC jail expansions.
Helping to advance the liberation of black communities and create new systems for the future.
Fighting against the arrests of journalists and media covering demonstrations.
You can borrow ebook versions from your local library for most of these titles and we've included a few online readings below.
This is not a one and done situation. Petitions and organizations are evolving every day. Ongoing visibility and, frankly, money are what keep a movement alive. Educating yourself and your children is life’s work. Speaking up about injustice won't be as uncomfortable as being harmed because of the color of your skin. We all have a voice, let's use it!