In this moment, we are seeing protests and action rise in multitudes in this country, and around the world, demanding justice for Black Lives, and calling attention to the systemic oppression of Black people.
QVS fundamentally understands racial justice work to be spiritual work. As an organization we are dedicated to supporting the spiritual development of young adults, and are in relationship with F/friends of all ages as partners in this work. We have seen many individuals, mostly white folks, feeling confused as to what their role in this moment is, and want to offer an incomplete list of ways one might consider getting involved.
This moment is also set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities, and has altered the many ways individuals and communities are called to organize and gather in solidarity. (E.g. economic precarity and hardship affecting the ability to contribute to organizations; concerns for health and preventing the spread of COVID-19 especially for those who are immunocompromised.)
We recognize the diversity of gifts, abilities, identities, experiences, and perspectives that our QVS community holds. In this time, we invite members of our community to take the right next step, reground as you need, and then take the next right step, and the next.
Below are some examples and resources of what a next right step might look like. We encourage you to engage in this work in community for support and accountability, and invite you to share below the right next step that you’re taking. If you have next steps that further racial justice but are not on this list, please share them in the comments.
Art by Julia @oheyjules_
Is your next step personal reflection and education?
Is your next step to learn more about police and prison abolition?
If “police / prison abolition” are new terms for you, they might seem grand, impossible, or scary. There have been incredible Black leaders, thinkers, authors, and organizers working on this for generations. It is wonderful to be able to learn from them, and center their voices, as we also see this moment as one of possibility and making big demands. Quakers have long been called to abolition and prison reform work, and orgs like AFSC have been on the side of recognizing the brokenness of this system, and have also been working towards and calling for prison abolition for decades. What steps can you take towards understanding and working out your role in the call for prison and police abolition?
- Building a Police-Free Future: Frequently Asked Questions by MPD150- ZINE
- Alternatives to Police “Imagine series”
- Marième Kaba Comic on Prison Abolition called “Who’s Left”
- Ruth Wilson Gilmore “Is prison Necessary:”- Article
- Angela Davis’ “Are Prisons Obsolete?”- Book
- Beyond Prisons- A new interfaith paradigm for our failed prison system- Book
- Curated collection on Police Abolition from The Marshall Project
- How People on the Outside Can Support the Political Work of People on the Inside
- A Quaker Call to Abolition and Creation
Watch / Listen
- Throughline Podcast on the History of American Police
- What does ‘Defund the Police’ mean? KPBS Podcast
- Junauda Petrus Reads Her Poem: Give The Police Departments to the Grandmothers
- Democracy Now: with Amy Goodman and Ruth Wilson Gilmore on Prison Abolition and COVID-19.
- An Interfaith Abolitionist Call to Action
- RISK, COURAGE AND DISCERNMENT: SPIRITUAL PREPARATION – Elizabeth Nguyen
- https://www.8toabolition.com/ PDF Intro to 8 to Abolition
Who to follow:
(For BIPOC) Is your next step, rest, grounding, or care?
In this movement we want to honor the ways BIPOC* folks need rest, grounding, and care, and know that looks different for every person. That might be taking space away from people, that might be a day off work, that might be showing up at the protest, that might be spending time with comrades, that might forming a cocoon of protection, making space for joy, creating art, isolating, taking a break from social media etc etc. All are super valid ways of caring for yourself.
For white folx looking at this section- do you have resources or services you can give to BIPOC in your community? Are you a type of healer or therapist that can offer free sessions? Do you own a restaurant or have capacity to make food for people? Check your resources, gifts, and strengths, and see how they can be reallocated towards people on the front lines and those experiencing heightened racial trauma at this moment.
Here are a few resources for Black healing / meditation / wellness-
- Healing Resources for BIPOC Organizers & Allies Taking Action for Black Lives
- Rest as RESISTANCE- Podcast interview with Tricia Hersey
- Ten Minute Guided Meditation video by Dr. Amanda Kemp
*BIPOC- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Is your next step at your Quaker Meeting?
Here are some resources or places to start-
Is your next step having conversations with your family / community?
Here are some ideas and resources for that-
- Send some of these resources to your family and ask to have a conversation about it, or better yet, set up a regular call for this work.
- Send a video or article to family or friends and ask them to reflect with you.
- Watch a movie, or engage with BIPOC art and stories with your family / community, and talk about it after.
- Ask your family about their experience of race, and listen. Also, share your experience and perspective of why this is important work to you.
- Ask family member to join you in an action / match your donation to a solidarity bail fund or racial justice org.
- (if it feels safe and possible for you) Don’t write people off, this is recreating systems and cycles of disposability politics that mirror the carceral state, and mass incarceration which views humans as disposable.
Is your next step following and supporting BIPOC* creators, organizations, businesses, artists, and thinkers?
Diversify your feed and hear about experiences voices, perspectives that are not your own. On social media if you like an account, see who they follow, explore and go from there. Share BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) created art and content. Here are some accounts to follow and explore, share and navigate from:
Instagram: @Mvmnt4blklives @sonyareneetaylor @chaninicholas @adriennemareebrown @nowhitesaviours @seedingsovereignty @miamingus @blklivesmatter @riseindigenous @theconsciouskid @lizzobeating @rowenwhite AND SO MANY MORE
Comment or @Quakerservice with more to add to this list!
How to Support Black-Owned Restaurants Right Now- Growing list of Black owned restaurants in major cities around the country, look up what is near you that you can support also!
- Minneapolis / St.Paul
- Portland, OR
Is your next step showing up at a protest?
Here are some resources about how to do that safely and effectively:
- How to Protest Safely: What to Bring, What to Do, and What to Avoid
- Resources for documenting police abuse, protesting, and scrubbing data
- Advice For a New Protester
(click the images below for links to these Instagram tutorials)
Is your next step advocating / calling local officials about policy, budget, and institutional change?
Here are some resources-
- Tell your governor: Invest in communities, not policing!
- Stand with Protestors: Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement
- NAACP Actions to contact your Congressional Representatives
- If your city has arrests at protests, call the Mayor, Governor, and District Attorney demanding that they release and drop charges against arrested protestors.
- Show up or call in to city council meetings, budget hearings, learn about how your city funds community programs vs the police and ask for resources to be reallocated.
- Talk to your organization leadership, ask what they are doing to recognize and shift their work towards racial justice and equity.
Potential script / text to use for calls to local officials-
- Hi, My name is ____ from ______ and I am calling on behalf of ______ and all other victims of police brutality in my community. I demand that the police department resources be re-allocated towards building and reinvesting in community wellness. I demand that all cases of police brutality be reopened and that all officers proven guilty be arrested and charged for their crimes. Being Fired is not enough. Please use your power and influence to bring justice in our community. Thank you.
- Add why this is important to you.
Is your next step donating to an organization or solidarity bail fund?
Justice orgs that need financial support right now-
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- The Movement for Black Lives
- BYP 100
- National Police Accountability Project
- Black Visions Collective
- Look up a local mutual aid funds that support folks in your community, particularly communities of color.
Solidarity Bail Funds which support the release of protesters who have been arrested-
- DIRECT LINKS TO JAIL SUPPORT PROGRAMS IN YOUR TOWN
- Split your bail fund donation between 60+ orgs at once here
- For our folks on the front-lines: Bail funds across the South
If you find yourself with access to wealth or class privilege and would like resources about how effectively catalyze, check out Resource Generation.
This list is growing and incomplete, but the most important thing we are asking is for you to take action. Comment on this post to share your response to “What is your right next step?” Right now we need accountability, and we need action.
If there are critical resources you’d like to have on this list to share or feedback, please email [email protected].