To my VERVE Studios family,
Many of us are having tough, heart-centered, and emotional conversations with our families, friends, colleagues, and peers about what is happening across the United States and rising up around the globe. We stand with you and the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racial injustice and acts of state violence inflicted on Black communities.
In a recent team meeting, I brought up the question, “What can we do now, as individuals and a team, to take action?” We are choosing to be part of the solution through education, communication, and action. We’re speaking out about racial injustice, talking about how to be an effective ally, actively listening to the experiences of our Black team members, learning from Black creators, filmmakers, writers, and educators, and donating to Black and BIPOC led organizations that combat racial injustice and help fund efforts to reverse racial inequality.
We started by hosting three livestream classes this past week in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. With your help, we raised over $500 for Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block. Thank you so much for your contributions.
To continue the conversation, we’ve created a list of resources to learn more and address the senseless violence and racism against Black people in this country and across the globe. We’d like to share these resources with you. We believe that when we stand together and lift our voices together, we can make positive change.
Actions You Can Take Towards Racial Justice
- Look up local, state, and federal elections
- Research the candidates who will enact reform
- Lend your candidate(s) of choice your voice, time, and other resources as you are able
- Consider engaging at the polls on election day
- Call your local representatives to advocate for racial justice, restrict use of force policies, and offer greater protection of Black people in your community
- Sign the Color of Change Petition, Justice for George Floyd Petition, Justice for Ahmaud Arbery Petition, Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition
GET UNCOMFORTABLE & SPEAK OUT
- Learn to recognize and stop subtle acts of bias by acknowledging them in yourself and calling out these acts in others
- Speak out against hateful rhetoric, racism, or discrimination
- Own your mistakes and grow from them. We’re not going to say or do everything perfectly. We can always learn, change, and do better.
LISTEN & LEARN
Share what you learn with your friends, family, and peers. Here are some places to start:
Color blind or color brave
The Danger of a Single Story
1619 – The New York Times
Code Switch – NPR
Intersectionality Matters! – Kimberle Crenshaw
On One – Angela Rye
13th – Ava Duvernay
When They See Us – Ava Duvernay
Selma – Ava Duvernay
Fruitvale Station – Ryan Coogler
I am not your Negro – James Baldwin
Just Mercy – Destin Daniel Cretton
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility Robin DiAngelo
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X Kendi
Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Tatum
If you are able to, consider donating to support organizations and funds that are advancing racial justice.
- The Bail Project
- Baltimore Action Legal Team
- Black Lives Matter Foundation
- Black Visions Collective – MN
- Fair Fight
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Higher Heights Leadership Fund
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Louisville Community Bail Fund
- Massachusetts Bail Fund
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- National Urban League
- People’s City Council Freedom Fund
- Reclaim the Block
SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES
Find them on The Black Wallet and Official Black Wall Street.
We hope these resources help you get started. We are always open to feedback, recommendations, and input on ways we can do better to support you. I encourage us all to take time to talk with one another, listen to learn and understand each other, and remember to take care of yourself too.
Lena & the VERVE team