Black Lives Matter.
To our community,
The horrendous murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others are only some of the most recent tragedies resulting from our nation’s long-standing history of systemic racism and violence. As a community made up of residents from every corner of the world, we see ourselves in their faces.
Institutionalized racism, state-sanctioned violence, and legalized oppression are just some of the intersecting ways that our Black community is targeted and it is always our job to show up to fight these injustices whenever and wherever they occur. As an organization whose work is led and informed by those who face these impacts the most, we stand committed to changing the violent, white supremacist systems that oppress our neighborhoods and cities. We have, and always will, continue to work together to dismantle racism in all its forms.
We will continue to overcome the challenges we face and provide programming to our youth, even through the pandemic and even through this civil unrest. Our current and future generations deserve a community that will empower them and grant them more opportunities for success and change.
Groundwork Somerville is committed to anti-racism. We stand in solidarity with those marching on the frontlines and the message is heard loud and clear: Black Lives Matter.
We’ve gathered a few action steps our community can take to combat the systemic oppression of people of color.
- Speak up when we see or hear injustice. Whether it is from colleagues, volunteers, or people in our lives, we cannot be silent in the face of racism, discrimination or implicit bias.
- Offer Support – People of color are hurt and are tired from the travesties being committed in our communities. Lend your support, whether that is simply listening to someone’s pain or letting a person know you are there for them.
- Be Active – Racism is insidious and cannot be overcome by simply not being overtly racist. Instead it should be confronted with actively anti-racist actions. Being an anti-racist means that you are a person who opposes racism and promotes racial tolerance. It results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, and equitable choices daily.
- Contribute – Support black owned businesses and nonprofits. Donate to local organizations fighting for racial justice: BLM Boston, Mass Bail Fund, Black & Pink Boston, Mass Action Against Police Brutality, City Life/Vida Urbana, and others.
- Educate yourself – Communities of color already bear an undue burden. Rather than seeking out black friends to ask what you can do, we have listed some resources at the end of this email that might help you understand the historical and political context of current events. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it might provide you with a starting point.
- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time), Claude Steele
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
- How to be Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
- So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Olou
- White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, James Forman, Jr.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Groundwork Somerville Team