THROUGH DIALOGUES, WORKSHOPS, EVENTS, STUDY GROUPS AND COLLABORATIONS, WE ARE BUILDING A MOVEMENT TO END SYSTEMS OF WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE AND RACISM.
The following is excerpted in part from ARD newsletter…..
Today 2/1/24 marks the beginning of Black History Month in the U.S. Created as Negro History Week in February 1926 by Carter G. Woodson of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the month aims to encourage “people of all ethnic and social backgrounds [to] discuss the black experience”.
Congress passed “National Black History Month” into law in 1986, proclaiming that “the foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity”. This year, the month’s theme is African Americans in the Arts, honoring the ways Black people have influenced the arts and culture we know today (ASALH.org).
Moving through Black History Month like it’s merely a learning opportunity misses the mark. This is a year for making the history books, not only for re-reading them. Education is essential, but we also have to take targeted actions to change the course of history. Here are some suggestions.
Celebrate Black History Month throughout the year.
The calendar might mark the occasion, but Black people deserve recognition and support 24/7, 365. Make the time this month to plan for how you're supporting Black history. As an individual, this can look like planning time to watch movies, or learn about a new leader each week. As a workplace, this can look like ensuring that your internal speaker series isn't just melanated in February, exploring other holidays related to Black culture, adding reminders to check specifically how your equity and inclusion initiatives support Black employees, and making an ongoing financial commitment.
Rally for DEI!!!
There's been a coordinated attack against diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives – policies and practices used to acknowledge and counter the racial inequities created by white dominant culture and society. Republican lawmakers have introduced 40 anti-DEI bills targeting higher education institutions since late 2022 (Insight on Diversity). And companies are scrambling to align their inclusivity efforts to mounting legal threats – some are scrapping them altogether (Harvard Business Review).
At a minimum, continue to champion DEI initiatives at your organization and in your community. Show up to DEI council meetings, and tell leaders and colleagues how much it matters to you. Keep conversations going with your peers about its importance, and invest in alliances or other initiatives to keep DEI going in your sphere of influence.
The attacks against DEI are part of a larger, coordinated movement to oppress marginalized people and erase their stories, so the fight doesn't stop there. Vocally support the need for diverse books and media and accurate history lessons in your school district, show up to city council meetings to defend DEI in state government, and share stories on how diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives have supported you and/or your colleagues and peers.
Push back against BOOK BANS and Curriculum restrictions. Hear our conversation from Dec’23 on the status of book banning in our own community and…HERE
Advocate•Align•Be an Accomplice
Change isn’t created in silence. Continue the showing up at protests and other demonstrations as best you can. This includes protesting physically in the streets and providing essential services to protestors. This can also include consistently sharing action items on social media and defending protestors through advocating for legislation and donating to bail funds and other emerging needs. More resources for supporting protests can be found here.
This also means showing up to be in conversations around racism and the many challenging issues confronting us; Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the War on Ukraine!
Remember that Black liberation is deeply intertwined with the liberation of all marginalized people. And, as the point above states, there are Black Jewish people, Black Palestinian people and Black Muslim people, all of whom are grappling with the weight of this conflict.
Give - Time.Talent.Treasure
Donate monthly to organizations that center Black wellbeing. Prioritize organizations with Black executive leaders and board members (Non-Profit Quarterly). Think beyond traditional 501c3s to local grassroots initiatives, including mutual aid networks. You can also donate physical goods (like food or clothing) or your time (skills-based volunteering, transportation, etc.).
Mentoring is a strong way to give time as an employee. Invest in the next generation of leaders in your field through a fellowship or mentorship program. Remember that mentorships are a two-way relationship. You likely have more to learn from your mentees or fellows than you think. Note: mentorships and fellowships should only be implemented in addition to other employment equity initiatives, like achieving pay equity or increasing the number of Black senior executives, not in place of them. In isolation, mentorship programs could cause more harm than good.
2024 is a critical election year - be in action - complicity is silence and silence is harmful and unacceptable!
BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!!!
IN COLLABORATION WITH
PARKWAY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH INVITES YOU TO
CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY ON 2/22 & 2/29
ENJOY A SPECIAL FREE SCREENING OF
LEGACY OF COURAGE
Followed by an Opportunity to Reflect & Discuss Opportunities to be Advocates, Allies and Changemakers in 2024!
Legacy of Courage: Black Changemakers in Massachusetts Past, Present, Future chronicles the actions taken by African American Changemakers over four centuries of confronting racial injustice as they aspired to a freer and more equal society. This 20-minute film uses archival sources, animation sequences, and interviews with scholars and youth activists to tell an inspiring story. Their actions are a template for young changemakers today who inherit this legacy– taking their first steps to help bend the long arc of history toward justice using reflection and discussion designed by Primary Source.
SPECIAL FEBRUARY BREAK SCREENING FOR YOUNG CHANGEMAKERS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd
SPECIAL SCREENING FOR ALL ages
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 29th
6:00-7:30 PM - Pasta Dinner Provided!
158 Blue Hills Parkway Milton, MA
CCTRJ BOOK GROUP
"THE FIRST LADIES"
This is about the long friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and early civil rights activist Mary McCloud Bethune. The authors are the same writing team that wrote the book"The Personal Librarian" about Belle da Costa Greene, the personal librarian to J.P. Morgan.
From Goodreads..... "The daughter of formerly enslaved parents, Mary McLeod Bethune refuses to back down as white supremacists attempt to thwart her work. She marches on as an activist and an educator, and as her reputation grows she becomes a celebrity, revered by titans of business and recognized by U.S. Presidents. Eleanor Roosevelt herself is awestruck and eager to make her acquaintance. Initially drawn together because of their shared belief in women’s rights and the power of education, Mary and Eleanor become fast friends confiding their secrets, hopes and dreams—and holding each other’s hands through tragedy and triumph."
Come join us for discussion on March 12, 2024 at 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom.
(we have saved March 26 as another discussion date if needed)
Please sign up here if you are able to attend. Knowing how many people will be at the Zoom meeting helps us to plan for the discussion.
BRINGING COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice has been providing consulting to many communities and organizations throughout our region since 2019.
If interested in learning more about our consulting please email us at email@example.com
At a recent Mass Nonprofit Network conference, we brought four of those communities together to talk about how their courageous conversations are going, what they are learning and what their growing edges are.
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CONVERSATION WITH MILTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS REGARDING HATE SPEECH INCIDENTS IN MILTON
RECORDED DECEMBER 16, 2021
We believe that racism impacts all of us and operates in our community, country, and world on a personal and systemic level.
We believe this movement will be fostered through the hard work of personal transformation.
Our goal is to participate in understanding, interrupting, and ending systems of white supremacy culture and racism.