Huge Success: White People Recognizing their Role in Ending Racial Violence
**GROUP CALL TO ACTION - DETAILS BELOW** ... Oh Yes!!!!
Thank you again for your participation and interest in "Open Roundtable Conversation: White People Recongizing Their Role in Ending Racial Violence." It was a powerful discussion! A lot of trust was built in this multiracial space, and folks, especially white people, were encouraged to step up their activity in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and ending racial violence. View more photos from the event.
Brief Recap from Roundtable
First off, people were incredibly candid in discussing why they showed up: expressing pain, privilege, hope, and commitment. The main take-aways are that people are committed to stepping up individually to take tools back to their communities but also folks are very interested in working together across race. In particular, white people want tools to address their own racism and the racism that's been "passed down" in their families and communities; engage as stronger allies; and move from individual action to collective response.
We then started a deep dive into how systemic racism manifests in our society beyond individual practice, which is state-sanctioned or structural by design: police brutality; high incarceration rates; voting rights; the education system; homelessness; foreign policy; and global racist and sexist religious hierarchies, to name only a few examples. We also discussed the flip side of that coin: systemic privilege, and the importance of not remaining silent as white people. This means intentionally speaking out, taking action, and redefining Whiteness to end rather than contribute to or cause oppression.
In small groups, participants talked about ways racism shows up in their lives unknowingly and then how that contributes to systemic racial violence. During the report back from the small group discussions, there were tons of ideas - from employment, socialization, militarization of neighborhood listserves, racist portrays on TV, food access, retribution for white people speaking out, dehumanization in the medical field and beyond, organizational leadership, segregation of neighborhoods and schools, colorism, the concept of "charity", and more.
Overall, people demonstrated enhanced levels of awareness, a new understanding of history, and deep commitment to working as individuals and as a collective to combat racist violence. We are hungry for more!
As part of our group's commitment to ending systemic racial violence, we agreed to take actions together, to continue these conversations, and to introduce an ethnicity component to the Black/White dynamic. We also agreed to talk to our families and friends, recruit more people to show up, take supportive roles in actions led by people of color, join the Rapid Response Team, diversify media consumption, and support Black-owned businesses.
For a first step, about 20 of us walked down the street and did a banner drop over I-20 with a beautiful sign that read, "Black Lives Matter." Most attendees expressed a commitment to doing a follow-up action together....
Are you ready?
Direct Action to End Racial Violence, coming out of the Dec 6 Atlanta Race Roundtable. Please let me know if you are interested in taking part!
WHAT: Direct Action to End Racial Violence, in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, #ICan'tBreath, #ShutItDownATL
WHEN: Friday, December 19 at 6p-9p
WHERE: Top end of the Perimeter (I-285 and Georgia 400 area). Once you RSVP, you will get more information via text. Please follow the instructions you receive via text. You will not find out the location or the specific action until the day of the event! This is customary to ward off tip-offs and create safety.
WHY: This action will target a major location that has a primarily white audience; we will interrupt White space/culture, and it will be amazing. We are planning on this being a legal, peaceful protest with no arrests.
RSVP: Please RSVP with your cell phone number, if you have access to one. We will be in touch about this action primarily via text. To RSVP for the action, you can either:
a) Reply to this message with your cell phone number (or let me know if you don't have a cell phone);
b) Join/Like Georgia WAND and Hello Racism on Facebook, then send Becky or La'Die a Facebook message with your cell phone number; or
c) Text 678-637-3744 with the word "Action" and your name
p.s. if folks want to carpool that is a great option; if you need a ride from MARTA please note that in your RSVP. The location is not terribly close to a MARTA station. Traffic at the top end of the perimeter is really bad
Lots of next steps here....
1. This Action: Please let me know if you are interested in taking a leadership role in this action. We need some leaders to step up! We will have a leadership meeting sometime next week in advance of the action
2. Next Discussion: We will have a 2nd Race Roundtable conversation in the coming weeks - please be on the lookout for more details!
3. Next Action; We will begin planning a 3rd direct action right away. Please contact me if you are interested in joining the planning team!
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me or La'Die.