“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Desmond Tutu
Call to Action
The past weeks, protests across the US have elevated the deep-rooted outcries of the Black American communities. This made us all want to stand up and scream. In the past week, the AWC Bern board has been working to put out a statement condemning the horrific murder of George Floyd by the police. Putting together the words did not come easy and a difficult conversation took place between the board members. The conversation challenged many ideas we had about racism. From the discussions, we recognized that change starts within us and moves outwards.
Today, we invite you to become the movement. We have compiled a list of resources to help us better understand the struggle of Black and minority communities in the US. We have also included places to donate and other actions we can take today. Doing our part will make us all better citizens. We want you to join us so we can all become the voice that will stop a system that has been oppressing, targeting, and silencing Black and minority Americans for too long.
AWC Bern Board
Genevieve Schneider, Emily Thompson, Patricia Aeby, Sara Nasrallah-Fournier, Theresa Buehlmann, Jennifer Saunders, Stephanie Pai, Neria Moye, Mara Kochaba, Sandra Morandi-Scott, Anne Riz Sandweiss, and Caitlan Siegenthaler
– Please do not be hesitant to share this with your communities, friends and family
AWC Platform – Members Only
AWC Programs is partnering up with our Contemporary Issues interest group to hold a facilitated discussion for our members only. This will be a safe environment for all to come and have a discussion about something that is difficult to talk about. AWC Programs have asked an external facilitator to assist in this. Please keep up eye for more information to come soon.
If you’re still not registered to vote, please do so! Here’s the link to Overseas Vote: https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/vote/home.htm
Some organizations where you might consider donating – as always, do your own research and vetting, these are just some possible starting points:
- Racial Justice Network (Minnesota)
- Black Visions Collective (Minnesota)
- We Love Lake Street is helping small businesses in Minneapolis rebuild
- Covid Bailout NYC helps pay pre-trial bail for medically vulnerable people held in NYC jails
- Campaign Zero is a research–based policy reform to limit police intervention
- Communities United Against Police Brutality
Most states have organizations working to end pre-trial bail and to pay the bail of indigent defendants. If you want to find a fund in your home state or city, you can do a search for “name of state bail fund” or “name of state bond fund.” Many of these funds (like the Minnesota Freedom Fund) have been overwhelmed by generosity in recent weeks and on their homepages are referring potential donors to other organizations in their communities.
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- The Bluest Eye– A Novel
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- The Case for Defunding the Police
- PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month
- The Long-Term Mental Health Effects For Black People Living Through Coronavirus and Racial Trauma
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
And because the arts can serve as a foundation for dialogue and understanding, some poetry that speaks to our times:
- How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This by Hanif Abdurraqib
- Bullet Points by Jericho Brown:
- A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay
- Supply and demand by Evie Shockley: listen to it introduced and read by Poet Laureate Tracy K Smith