5 Friyays – June 5

5 Friyays – June 5

Hello, dear friends, it’s Dr. Erin here. Similarly to Dr. Kristen’s post last week, my list is not necessarily going to be celebratory. Over the last few weeks, I have seen a lot of White people begin the process of grappling with their Whiteness, with their privilege, and with the real history of our country. If this is your first time joining these conversations, you are welcome. Both Dr. Kristen and I are avowedly anti-racist – something we work on everyday. Dismantling systemic racism is heavy work – it’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, it’s painful – but it is necessary. We want to hold space for those that are starting this work. 

Dr. Kristen and I know that now is not the time for our voices. We also know it is not the time to ask Black people to carry the emotional burden of educating White people about these difficult and challenging topics. The purpose of my Friyays today is to provide a list of resources about anti-racism and Black experiences in America. These experiences are not a monolith – they are diverse and complex, like all human experiences – and there are a lot of Black voices to listen to. It can be an intimidating prospect if you don’t know where to start. I’ve tried to collate as many different voices depending on how you learn and what you might want to learn about.  

What Does Police Reform Look Like?

Great question. The good news is that there are a lot of people researching and advocating for police reforms across the country. Let’s start with some statistics about police shootings and how they disproportionately impact Black men. Sherrilyn Ifill is the President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and shares her recommendations for police reform. Here is some research from the Marshall Project on why police responses to protests don’t work. Launched Wednesday by Campaign Zero, 8 Can’t Wait is an advocacy plan for police reform that will guide you through taking immediate action.

What Can I Read?

There are a lot of reading lists making the rounds in the last few weeks and I’ve found a few good ones. Here is Elle’s Anti-Racism Reading List. Katic Couric has actually comprised a very extensive reading, watching, and listening list. This Google doc is also a comprehensive list of lots of ways to listen, learn, and act (for both adults and children). Here is a list of Young Adult books by Black authors if that’s your jam. If you’re looking for children’s books, A Mighty Girl has 75 of them showcasing Black girls and women throughout history. The racialized wealth gap is also a massive part of systemic racism – so if you want to buy any of these great books – consider buying from the Black-owned bookstores on this list.

What Can I Watch?

If you would rather learn by watching, there’s loads of content for you. The Rundown with Robin Thede is a great show covering all sorts of important topics. Buzzfeed has made a handy list of movies and documentaries. If you enjoy the TED Talk format, they’ve got a list for you.

What Can I Listen To?

The beauty of having so many forms of media is that we can all find a way to educate ourselves. If you love audio books, make sure you take the reading lists and check for audio recordings. There are also a lot of great podcasts talking about racism in America, so here’s a list of those.

How Can I Help?

I’ve already linked to 8 Can’t Wait above, and there are lots of action-oriented resources in the Google Doc link as well. Teen Vogue is doing fantastic work and has a great activist-written blog on how to take anti-racist action. Finally, the Black Lives Matter card has updated links on campaigns, bail funds, memorial funds, and other campaigns centered around justice and reform.

That’s my Friyays list for today. I hope you’ve found something to help your continuing education. We all have so much to learn, so many to listen to, and so much work to do. Make sure you look after yourself and take breaks when you need them. Be safe, and be well. 

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