We Stand Together: Black Lives Matter
As millions across the country denounce the senseless killings of Black people at the hands of police, George Floyd among the most recent, and racial injustice in our national institutions, Catalyst Miami stands with our Black brothers and sisters in unequivocal solidarity. We are horrified by these acts of injustice – tragedies that are painfully familiar. Our Black communities have long suffered the downstream effects of racism, and most recently the disproportionate impact of COVID-19. We grieve with our Black friends, colleagues and fellow citizens; moreover, we wholeheartedly commit to turning our collective grief into action.
We will continue investing our time, energy and resources in our Black communities, who have been historically marginalized. We will keep seeking out ways to create more equity and opportunity. We will work hard to achieve policy changes that address systemic injustices and hold people of color back. And we will continue showing up and speaking out in defense of the intrinsic value of Black lives, until we are all treated with equal dignity and respect.
It’s going to take all of us to dismantle the deep-rooted racism that has existed since this country’s founding and create a more just world. We must openly and intently listen to the lived experiences of our Black brothers and sisters. And we must actively confront and challenge any racism we witness in our daily lives. The moment is now to stand up, demand change, and speak the inarguable truth that Black lives matter.
A Call to Allies:
Non-Black people have a responsibility to find and act in ways that support and advance racial justice. Allies must take action to end the visible and invisible racism in our communities. Here’s a list of anti-racist resources, shared by FIU, and here is Medium's 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice. Below is our list of 7 things you can do - now and long-term - most of which were shared by Paul Carrick Brunson:
- Donate. – Check out organizations like the Minnesota Freedom Fund, who are bailing out protestors and providing supplies on the ground. Also, the National Bail Fund Network has a full directory of bail funds by state.
- Attend a protest or march. – There are peaceful protests scheduled around the world. We understand people’s caution about taking to the streets, especially since we’re still going through a pandemic. For anyone who can do so safely, we encourage you to show up.
- Educate yourself. – Remember to not expect or task your Black colleagues and community members to teach you right now. In addition to Paul’s top 10 reads (and videos) on U.S. and British racism, we recommend How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.
- Vote (not just in federal elections). – At the ballot is where we can most effectively create change. Find out when your local elections are. As President Obama said, “The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” Also, hold lawmakers responsible through calls.
- Buy from Black-owned businesses. – Invest in Black-owned businesses. As Paul says, “Political power follows economic power. Not sure where to start? SBO has a directory of Black Owned Businesses.” Check out supportblackowned.com/help/faq for inspiration.
- Make your long-term strategy. – How can you make a long-term impact or affect change? Can you mentor a young person, or volunteer? Can you support an organization that works to advance racial equity and justice? Make the effort to do something meaningful over a long period.