Date: June 2nd, 2020
In recognition of #BlackoutTuesday and in support of #BlackLivesMatter, we are pausing our regular communications.
Today, we pause to grieve and join in the outrage for violence against Black lives. We join the call for justice following the most recent racially charged incidents and the nation’s protests in response specifically to the murder of George Floyd by four Minnesota police officers, the murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville law enforcement offices, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by a small but racist lynch mob.
Racism is a persistent social toxin in our society. The ongoing and disparate impacts of racism demand our attention, now. To ensure equity for People of Color, the enduring burden of racism and systemic oppression must be acknowledged and remedied.
The outrage is righteous. Each of us has a responsibility and a role to play in dismantling racism. For those of who looking for ways to learn and to do better, we’ve compiled an abbreviated list to support our members who may be looking for more guidance:
“The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
This new online portal is “designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.”
Former President Barack Obama notes that “Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape the strategies that best fit the times. But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering.”
“#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
“Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education.” The site has resources for educators on structural racism, intersectional black identities, black history, and anti-racist movements.”
“Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.”
“White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress…This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.”
“Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.”
The Danger of a Single Story
“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. [In her TED Talk,] Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice–and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
This list is by no means exhaustive or representative of the resources available. We will continue to share more resources on social media, amplifying the voice of the organizations and individuals who have made it their mission to fight racism and promote social justice.
No matter our focus, whether we are sex educators or healthcare providers or policy advocates or trainers, we each can contribute to the fight to advance social change and dismantle racism.
About the Author
Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1979, we promote better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations. We serve as a leading national membership organization (501c3) for adolescent health professionals and organizations, promoting a unique and holistic perspective—we call it Youth 360°—to improve the health and well-being of young people.