Confronting a problem as large as systemic racism and police violence isn't easy. I'm focusing on learning, contributing (volunteering and donating money), and amplifying the voices of people who have been marginalized. I urge you to do the same with whatever platform you have.
The links I share below aim to fix these inequities. All I know is that we can't just keep clipping the leaves of the poison tree and hoping it dies. True change blossoms from digging deep, yanking up roots, and replanting policies that serve us all. Standing together and exercising our inalienable constitutional (human!) rights is a powerful combination.
As Alice Walker said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
Sick of feeling politically powerless in your blue state? Adopt a state for November's election!
Vote Save America was developed by the crew at Crooked Media, hosts of the wildly popular Pod Save America and Pod Save the World. In their words:
You don't live in a battleground state. So how do you help out in the states that will determine who wins in 2020? We finally have an answer: No matter where you live, you can directly support the work of organizers, volunteers, and candidates in the six key battleground states that will be most important to delivering a progressive majority in 2020.
Chelsea and I chose Wisconsin because it's likely to be a tight race. Rather than drowning in news despair, jump on board with Vote Save America and take action!
Decreasing police violence isn't easy, but it's possible. Campaign Zero uses data-backed methods that integrate community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Their #8CANTWAIT initiative shows that eight simple policies can decrease police violence by 72%. Mayors of many U.S. cities are signing onto the pledge and it's easy to email or call your local leaders using this template from GoodGoodGood.co (email or phone versions). Contact your local mayor and police chief and encourage them to take the pledge as well!
I thought I knew something about the justice system. Turns out I don't know jack.
The excellent Justice in America podcast takes one issue (e.g. school in prison, money bail, probation and parole) and explains it in a clear, insightful fashion.
So many good episodes and brilliant guest. Starting at the beginning with money bail is a great way to begin.
Read: Books for Perspective
Diving below the news cycle and podcasts via books always brings to light new perspective for me. Here are four favorites:
1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X- simply a fantastic book. So timely with many parallels to what's going on now. One of the best biographies I've read.
2. The Hate U Give - a can't-put-it-down novel about a young Black woman torn between two worlds. 3. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari - insightful, thought-provoking work from a powerhouse thinker. (This podcast episode sums up his philosophies well - thanks for the tip, George!)
4. Between the World and Me - this short, powerful book was hailed by Toni Morrison as required reading and won many major awards. It helped me put current events in perspective. Please send any sites, blogs, articles, podcasts and book recommendations you feel are important my way. I'm all ears!