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Black Lives Matter: Our Response and Some Resources

We cannot stand by silently while Black communities continue to suffer under the weight of violence, discrimination and injustice. Yesterday, May 31st, we made a $1,000 contribution to our neighbors, Citizen Action of New York, who organized Saturdays run/walk rally for Black Lives in Albany, and that's not anywhere near enough. The work we all need to do to dismantle systemic racism is far from over.

Honest Weight stands in solidarity with the Black communities in Albany, in Minneapolis, in Glynn County, in Louisville, Tallahassee, and across the country. Black lives matter.

Here are a few facts that are true today.

  1. 14.6% of the population of the USA is African American (Latino/Latina makes up 18.3%, Native American is 1.3%), yet only 3.5% of the nation’s farm land is operated by these ethnic minorities.
  2. The latest overall COVID-19 mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.4 times as high as the rate for whites, and 2.2 times as high as the rate for Asians and Latinos.
  3. African-American men are more than twice as likely as their white peers to die from police use of force. In fact, police violence is the sixth-leading cause of death for young Black men in America.
  4. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. (Source: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
  5. Black transgender women account for 50 percent of all anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence, and as of November 2017, 84% of transgender murder victims were people of color and 80% were women. (Source: Transgender Law Center)
  6. Black women in leadership positions are more likely to be criticized or punished when making mistakes on the job.

What Can White People Do to be Allies of the Black Community?

  • Educate yourself. Check out the resouces below for steps you can take to improve racial justice and equality in the Black community.
  • When you hear of these incidents occurring, ask your friends of color how they’re doing? Just that question goes further than you know.
  • Donate or volunteer for an organization led by people of color that is committed to advancing social change in Black and Brown communities. We're including a list below.

Educational Resources:

Anti-Racism Resources for White People

This impressive google doc is better than anything we could put together independently and includes articles to read, videos to watch, organizations to follow on social media, tools for white parents of white children, etc. It also includes other lists of resources. This list that was compiled by Johnetta Elzie, protester and activist from her notable work in the Ferguson, Missouri protests.

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

An older article (2017) from The Medium that lists 75 clear actions white people can take to be actively anti-racist

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

An oft-referenced excerpt from a longer academic essay by Peggy McIntosh in 1988 and a good primer for understanding and coming to terms with white privilege. "White privilege is like an invisible
weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank
checks."

Ways You Can Help

A regularly updated list of resources, places to donate (including a way to donate without money), petitions to sign, and phone numbers to call or text.

The Case for Reparations

Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic. “The Case for Reparations” has been lauded as an arresting and accurate cataloguing of the black struggle in twentieth-century America (especially the critical role property has played in the oppression of black people).

Organizations Accepting Donations:

Did we miss anything that should be on here? Please reach out: georgiaj@honestweight.coop.

 

Monday, June 1, 2020 4:43pm
 
A letter from our Board of Directors to Owners of Honest Weight
 
Dear Owners of Honest Weight,
 
The Honest Weight Board of Directors writes to you today to express our support of the Black Lives Matter protests and movement. Contrary to the ethos and laws of our country, racial injustice has been a grim reality for so many people for far too long. We are deeply moved by the passion, commitment, and bravery we've seen. We hope that June 2020 will launch a new era of progress towards a just and equitable society for all.
 
But we know we must do more than make a statement.
 
Honest Weight was founded on good intentions, and has endeavored to enact its Mission and Statements of Conscience in good faith. However, because racism and discrimination are fundamental to our country and pervade every aspect of life, there's no reason to believe our Co-op doesn't perpetuate racial biases. We want to do better, both within our walls and beyond.
 
Where and how to begin?
 
Possible areas of exploration and action to increase racial diversity and awareness include:
 
  1. Employment hiring, retention, and practices
  2. Racial Equity and Inclusion Training for Employees
  3. Racial Equity and Inclusion Policy Review and Development
  4. Diversity and Sensitivity Training for Employees and Membership
  5. Creation of a Diversity Committee
  6. Explore ways that the co-op can actively support an anti-racist agenda.
  7. Neighborhood Engagement programs by Outreach
 
The Board calls upon the Membership to join us in creating programs and governance bodies to a) uncover specific areas for improvement based upon a rigorous yet compassionate examination of our past; b) explore trainings, policies, and procedures that increase racial diversity and awareness among our Staff and Membership; and; c) enfold these efforts within our long-range planning purpose and vision.
 
Please submit ideas, comments, or proposals to the Board atBoardAdmin@honestweight.coop and use the subject heading INCLUSION; to attend and join the discussion at the next Board meeting follow: 
 
July Meeting of the HWFC Board of Directors
Time: July 07, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting online:
Meeting ID: 893 5590 4979
Join Zoom Meeting by phone:
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 893 5590 4979
 
Help us to look within our cooperative, as each of us looks within ourselves. We welcome your ideas, critiques, and participation.
 
Sincerely,
HWFC Board of Directors

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