Don't go back to sleep.

WELLREAD is our free weekly action toolkit that has everything you need to wake up, take action, and stay balanced along the way.

CTZNWELL

For those of you just joining this fight, welcome. While some of us are just waking up to this reality, Black lives have always mattered. 

You don’t have to look far to see the truth of systemic racism in plain sight - whether it is state violence, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 or climate change on Black and Brown bodies, the maternal mortality rate, the school to prison pipeline. It’s a miracle so many did not “see” before this moment.

The question is “where will we go from here?”  Will you commit to the movement beyond the moment? How will you take responsibility for your part? What will you do when equality asks you to give something up? 

If you are not reckoning with these questions, you are not doing the work. “This is not the social justice Coachella”. This is an everyday practice of courage and conviction to defend black life and affirm our humanity.

Don't go back to sleep. This is gonna be a long ride.

Kerri

(she/her)

  1. We need more care, not more cops. Here’s how the Black Lives Matter movement puts the #WeKeepUsSafe slogan into action. [Click to Tweet]

  2. Whoa. “In reaction to civilians and politicians in denial that cops are striking first at anti-racism protests, two activists are cataloguing every video they can find in a public spreadsheet.” [Click to Tweet]

  3. #DefundThePolice is a call for a safer America. Let’s answer it by demanding community solutions that actually work for the people. [Click to Tweet]

  4. “This is not the social justice Coachella” - this is a long-term movement. Here’s how we prevent a white liberal backlash to the current moment. [Click to Tweet]

  5. Michelle Alexander warns us that this is our chance to get it right, or lose our democracy forever. [Click to Tweet]

Across the country, activists are moving local governments to take meaningful action against the current policing system - and even successfully getting them defunded, like Minneapolis did just a few days ago.

Here’s how you can be part of the change:

LISTEN: Learn from Mariame Kaba about prison abolition and what the future of our criminal legal system could look like on this podcast hosted by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith.

#8TOABOLITION: #8toAbolition is an abolitionist response to the #8CantWait campaign. It goes beyond incremental police reform that doesn’t work and honors the legacy of abolitionists who have been imagining a world beyond police and prisons. Check out the platform.

COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS: Use this guide to mobilize and persuade your people to understand what’s happening and to take action with you. Opinions are getting cemented in this moment, and we can’t let people stay asleep.

CHECK YOURSELF: If you’re a white business leader or influencer, are you replicating white supremacy and colonialism by centering your own experience in the content and conversations that you’re sharing about racism? Are you rushing to prove that you’re a “good” white person without doing the deeper work required for a lifetime of anti-racist work? Layla Saad broke it down in a recent IGTV on why #TheRevolutionWillNotBeColonized. (Have you gotten her book yet? Buy Me and White Supremacy here.)

We are all located in different places along this journey. While some of us are learning about racism, others are living it. While some of us are benefitting from white supremacy, others are being harmed by it. Being in this work demands that we know where we are on the path so that we can lean in with skill and humility.

Whether you woke up from whiteness at the start of the Black Lives Matter movement seven years ago (when Trayvon Martin was murdered), after the 2016 election, or just a couple weeks ago, all of us carry the responsibility of not only doing our anti-racism work, but also not making it about us. As Rachel Cargle said on CTZN Podcast last year:

“The point of anti-racism work is to protect Black lives, so if everything you do is for your benefit, then you're just enhancing white lives.”

Let us be driven, not only by moral outrage and righteous indignation, but by a love so big that it can’t not act. Let us reclaim our humanity that has been lost to whiteness and demand better for ourselves and one another. Let us do the deep, slow and intentional work to change for the long term.

This work is messy, and it’s a forever kind of commitment. Be humble and be diligent. Be courageous and be compassionate. Be love and be justice. Just don’t forget that white folx have been hitting snooze since 1619. So also, be honest and accountable.

Real talk.

Follow @thenapministry for more wisdom.