BLACK LIVES MATTER
Yes, they do.
I want to get better at being anti-racist. There is so much to learn.
Here are some resources that I am finding helpful right now:
- 1619 podcast. EXCELLENT.
- Following BeTall Libra on Facebook. She lives here in Clackamas County, so her experience is happening in real time right here. I can't make excuses that "it was back then," or "it's only in that other region." She is positive AND real.
- Meeting Denyse McGriff, member of OC City Commission. Also SO POSITIVE. And so real. She introduced me to the Facebook page, OC Unite. More about that when I talk about local stuff in a minute.
- Following Holladay Phillips on Instagram. She posts about her Black experience in Great Britain. Her background in yoga and meditation gives her a unique perspective with thought-provoking insights. I loved her recent post on empathy, and I am finding ways to apply her ideas. (Like with the Rude Dude without a mask in the Post Office the other day. But that's another story. Still, EMPATHY.)
- Reading books like "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult. "Piecing Me Together" by Renee Watson. "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett. "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson.
- Following NAACP on Instagram and listening to their webinars when I can.
- Wearing my Black Lives Matter tee shirts on a weekly basis. Keeps me grounded.
- Donate monthly to LDS Charities, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Black Lives Matter. Researching organizations that create ways for more Black people to enjoy wilderness areas and how I can contribute.
- I don't respond to every post on social media that bugs me. It would be too exhausting. But I do speak up at times, and I am gradually learning more about speaking up as an anti-racist ally, being true to what I know in my gut.
- Racism IS systemic, and we simply must dismantle the structures of white supremacy that are built into the fabric of our culture if we are to truly become the country we have never been yet, but aspire to become.
BEING A GOOD CITIZEN AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
So how do I translate this into actual actions I can take?
- I keep putting out free masks in front of my house. I live near some Section 8 housing, and I know I have many neighbors with financial struggles. I also donate masks to local senior living communities and resource centers for homeless neighbors. I am grateful to many friends who have donated fabric to me for this ongoing effort. I've made around 500 masks so far.
- Collecting signatures for a petition to recall the mayor of Oregon City. More about that in a separate post.
- Volunteer at a local historical museum (Rose Farm Museum, one block from where I live). Mark and I started volunteering on the groundskeeping crew today. One of my goals is to work with the docents to include more about the history of white supremacy that was a founding principal of Oregon's early pioneers. The first legislature meeting of Oregon was held at Rose Farm Museum, and white supremacy was enshrined into laws there that lasted over a century. NOT trying to change history! Trying to reframe history more accurately. How else can we understand how we got to where we are today, and where we might be able to go in the future?
I know this is a long post, and if you've actually read this far, I'm super impressed! I've just had a lot on my mind for a long time now. Been trying to formulate thoughts and learn more, and I'm still on that journey. What's your journey like? What are your thoughts about citizenship at this time?
Please stay safe and wear your mask, wash your hands, you know the drill. If you're reading this, you're my friend and I truly care about you. Let's keep talking and learning!