ISSUE 13 | JUNE 13 | 2020

Dear Friends,

We intentionally did not publish this past week because we wanted to listen and understand the national dialogue about systematic racism and the mistreatment of people of color.

As we mourn the death of George Floyd, we hold ourselves accountable and know there is much more work to do to increase the diversity of everyday relationships, to educate ourselves, and to implement practices that ensure that racial justice is always served.

Here are our suggestions of what to read, who to learn from, and where to donate. We strongly recommend Instagram and Twitter as places where powerful and relevant voices are publishing hourly; thought leaders not heard via conventional media outlets. And here is a list of activities, from our colleagues at Temple Rodef Shalom, that you can begin today:
  • Support black- and minority-owned vendors and small businesses.
  • Talk openly with your children about racism.
  • Learn to listen, deeply and mindfully, to those who have experienced racism.
  • Be in touch with your elected officials.
  • Speak up to injustice in social situations, and bear witness.
  • Love all people.
Former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho launched his first episode of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man after receiving many questions from white friends about how they could help. Acho tackles questions like “I understand protesting, but why riot?” and “Why do you think white privilege exists?” — citing MLK, Lyndon B. Johnson, historical efforts to combat racial injustice, and personal experience. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more conversations to come.
Courageous political and social commentator Jesse Mechanic’s video on How to Be a Better White Person is sobering. He discusses defacto racism, the exclusion of black people from the suburbs, and why systems needs to be dismantled and rebuilt. “If you are posting anything other than content related to what’s happening, you are demonstrating white privilege and doing life wrong right now.” Check out another biting civics lesson from Jesse on the Civil War, and for more, follow him on Instagram.
Have you thought about how global warming, pollution, and other climate issues disproportionately affect people of color? This brilliant op-ed in The Washington Post by climate expert Ayana Johnson illustrates the point so clearly. “To white people who care about maintaining a habitable planet, I need you to become actively anti-racist. I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis. If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither.” With thanks to our client Health in Harmony for highlighting this vital connection.
Teen activist Lee Smith has compiled this thoughtful and comprehensive list of assets — the most thorough we’ve seen — for getting involved TODAY. Sign a petition, call, text, email — here’s what to say, who to follow, where to donate. Lee is an experienced advocate for underserved populations, the former regional Social Action VP of their youth group — and also, Beth’s kid! We need more teen leaders like you and your fellow NFTY board members, Lee!
This well-rounded list of resources for tackling racism as a person, colleague, teacher, or parent was composed by our good friend Dian Holton, a fellow designer and a tireless, powerful voice for inclusion and diversity in the design profession. Follow on Instagram and Twitter for more enlightenment from Dian, who is also a Board Member of AIGADC and an Art Director at AARP. And check out Sisters from AARP, a free, weekly newsletter celebrating Black Women — a publication for which Dian is the founding art director.
President Barak Obama eloquently weighs in on reimagining policing and how to make this a turning point for real and lasting change. “First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States. The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support.” Follow the Obama Foundation on Twitter for more inspiration on how to create a just and equal world.
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