Today I am writing to ask for your help. I have continued to think about the recent murder of George Floyd as well as the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
In particular I have been thinking about ways to hold myself accountable to sustained action. I have a tendency to become complacent and I would like to counteract this as much as possible.
This is where you can come in! I think it would be really helpful to have a network of folks who could check in with me regularly or semi-regularly about doing the work. I know it’s not always easy or comfortable or fun, but I think it’s important.
And I know I can do better.
What I’m doing today: researching racial justice organizations in Idaho (specifically Latah county and surrounding areas); thinking about the needs of the community I’m moving into and how I can used my skills; setting up recurring donations to provide myself an on-going reminder.
What I’d like to do tomorrow: continue calling Mayor Jacob Frey (612) 673-2100 and DA Mike Freeman (612) 348-5550 to petition them to press charges against the police officers who murdered George Floyd; continue to research Idaho; think about ways to remain involved in the community of Oakland.
I am also hoping to find out more about the resources that the University of Idaho has to offer. I recognize that joining an academic institution gives me access to greater resources than I would have otherwise and I want to make sure I am sharing that access as much as possible. I also want to use my teaching position responsibly.
My sister has been working through the “Me and White Supremacy” handbook, and I will be doing the same following my move. (I don’t want it to get lost in the mail.)
I had a very good conversation with my fantastic mother today. We discussed the difficulty of creating on-going and sustainable action. We agreed that it is not enough to become bogged down with despair. Despair is a sedative. It prevents work from being done. While it is important to recognize and process our emotions, it is important to prioritize action.
Again, this is where support networks come in: having the ability to share frustrations and sorrows as well as small victories and encouragement is essential to sustainable action.
So, while I am still angry and heart-broken, I am trying to funnel my emotions into productivity.
Just know if you are out there feeling alone and overwhelmed that I am here sending you love and support. We can overcome the narratives we were born into. We can change the way society works in the future.
Change is not only possible but necessary.
So much love,