On Tuesday, June 9, approximately one hundred people gathered at the Free Speech Wall in Charlottesville's downtown mall for a peaceful prayer vigil organized by Don Gathers and the Charlotttesville Clergy Collective. Below are pictures courtesy of Mike Kropf and Richard Lord. (Photo credit above: Eze Amos)
Credit for above photos: Mike Kropf
Credit for above photos: Richard Lord
Read our Statement on the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor
Last Week Tonight (June 7, 2020)- As nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are met with police brutality, John Oliver discusses how the histories of policing and white supremacy are intertwined, the roadblocks to fixing things, and some potential paths forward.
The following links are taken from Claire Lampen’s article “How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality.”
Direct aid for victims’ families:
Tangible Ways to Support Black Lives
Ways to Engage Right Now – Each One Counts
Note: Below is an excerpt of an email from Collective Impact Forum.
If you’re wondering what steps to take, here are some things that can help.
Listen. Learn. Give. Center.
Listen to communities of color. Understanding what Black, Brown, or Indigenous people need to thrive is crucial right now.
Please don’t assume.
If you are struggling with what is said above or what is going on right now in our world, a good step is to visit some resources to support your own learning. Everyone is learning at their own pace. Remember to not expect or task your Black colleagues and community members to teach you right now. They do not have the time or energy to lay things out again. If you are feeling challenged and wondering where to start, seek out resources like the ones listed below.
Books: These books are available in print, ebook, and audio.
It’s become a pandemic cliché to say “Now more than ever,” but it’s still true. Now, more than ever, giving is essential. Whether it’s giving money, time, or compassion.
See “Listen” above. If your communities are asking for something to be given, if you can, please give.
“Now more than ever” is the time to spread your compassion and empathy. So many are feeling pain, exhaustion, fear, and grief. Your compassion and love can be a real gift.
It’s very necessary to center the stories and experiences of Black lives and other people of color, and what they are going through. Center their narratives and what they are experiencing. Use those experiences as a light to guide your actions.
Be wary of “easy” narratives that pin blame on communities of color. Like using a stereotype to quickly code someone, narratives are also tools to quickly divide and understand.
Parse your media intake - who is being centered? Whose experiences are “the protagonist”? At this time of heightened racial violence and inequity, if the story “protagonist” is not Black or Brown, use that as an indicator to reassess that media source and what narrative they are trying to give you.
Our own media literacy (including social media) is a key learning area right now. Following media outlets and sources that are authored by and for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities is a crucial step to improve one's own media literacy, especially if you want to unlearn harmful narratives that you may be unknowingly carrying with you.
For people of color in the Collective Impact Forum community, we see you. We see your pain and grief. We see the injustices you have and are experiencing. You do not deserve to feel this way. No one should. This burden should not be yours. It should not be anyone’s.
For our Forum community - Let us all do what we can to overcome anti-blackness and racism in our systems and communities.
Listen. Learn. Give. Center. And Support each other.
Robert Albright, Director, Collective Impact Forum
Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum
Tracy Timmons-Gray, Associate Director, Collective Impact Forum
LEARN - Articles
SupportCville.com has the most comprehensive list of support (financial, supplies, housing, food, etc.) in our community.
Below are a few organizations where you can donate to support our community:
“Shepherding Through a Pandemic” Informational Session on COVID-19 for Faith Leaders
On May 27, Dr. Jeanita Richardson (Professor of Public Health Sciences at UVa's School of Medicine) gave a presentation on “Shepherding Through a Pandemic,” focusing on what faith leaders need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic and how to prepare for the reopening of their congregations.
Below you will find supporting information from the presentation.
PDF Handouts mentioned by Dr. Richardson
ARTICLES: COVID-19 and Race
Above is a recording of “A Service of Mourning the Deaths from COVID-19 and Racism” held on Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 7 pm. This service names the dual diseases of COVID-19 and racism that are ravaging our country and our world. We especially mourn the black lives that have been lost due to both diseases.
Please visit our blog post for ways to support the struggle against COVID-19 and racism and police brutality.
“First They Came . . .”
In our Service of Mourning (around the 11:18 minute mark in the video), we stated Pastor Martin Niemöller's famous quote and offered our own version, with “they” referring to COVID-19 and racism:
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