7. Many companies have recruiting channels that are predominantly white. Work with your HR department to recruit Americans who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Recruiting from HBCUs is a good start. Work to put descendants of enslaved Africans already hired under supportive managers.
#7 of the 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice is a really good one that can have tangible results fast. I work in academia, as do many in my family, and this is something that we can advocate for concretely and immediately. In my own case, I am responsible for hiring adjunct faculty for the noncredit program at NYU SPS Center for Applied Liberal Arts, so I can make far greater efforts than I have been. I recently discovered the twitter hashtag #BlackInTheIvory, which I urge everyone to read. The academic experience for Black faculty and students alike is too often horrific. Furthermore, the shameful truth is that 3% of all U.S. college/university faculty members are black and only 4% of those are tenured. Yet, Black people are 13% of the population. I commit to the goal of having 13% of the noncredit faculty at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts be Black within the next two years.
Recently, I had the great privilege of getting to know Dr. Uché Blackstock, an Emergency Medicine Physician as well as Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, at NYU when we served on the NYU Women’s Leadership Forum Committee. I was stunned when she told me she was leaving NYU because she felt that the equity and diversity conversation was landing on deaf ears in academia and she felt she could no longer tolerate “a toxic and oppressive work environment that instilled in me fear of retaliation for being vocal about racism and sexism within the institution.” She wrote about exactly why she left NYU here: “Why Black doctors like me are leaving faculty positions in academic medical centers.” It was a terrible loss for NYU medical students, and for the NYU community in general, but her departure points to the fact that not only is hiring more Black faculty essential, creating an environment in which that faculty can comfortably flourish must go hand in hand with the hiring.
During the corona virus pandemic, Uché has been a prominent voice in explaining the impact of health inequity and healthcare disparities on our marginalized populations and communities during the Covid-19 outbreak — and how we can start to change this dynamic. She has been very clear that racism, and not race, is the risk factor for the over-representation of Black #COVID19 cases and mortality in the US. I recommend you follow her on twitter at @uche_blackstock.
And in case you are wondering, I made it to Italy where I am beginning the second week of a very strict quarantine. I can’t complain, though, as I stare all day long out my window at vineyards and olive trees.
I left two sons back in NYC to continue the Bosch puzzle–together with Abigail and her dog Roho who moved in with them. Will keep you posted on their puzzle progress.
Leandro, son number 2, has been protesting pretty full time. He and his cousin Isobel, inspired by another cousin Madeleine (Addie) Gilson, put together these TAKE-ACTION-NOW resources for our family which I would like to share with you.
Here is a list of bail funds you should consider donating to:
Bail Funds by State/City:
You can also split your donation among 70+ bail funds here:
If you want to donate to a specific person:
You should consider donating to small black owned businesses and to business owners who were formerly incarcerated and excluded from COVID federal relief funds.
Formerly incarcerated business owners:
Small Business Relief:
Support Black Owned Businesses in Atlanta:
EMW, an abortion center in Louisville, Kentucky was damaged during the protests. Help them rebuild the center and protect reproductive rights.
Donate to Rebuild the Block, supporting small black owned businesses.
Here is a comprehensive list of funds you can donate to where the money goes directly to victims of police violence.
If you have venmo (which is a fantastic way to donate):
Donate to the Femme Empowerment Project at @femmeempowermentproject. “A Venmo to donate to Minneapolis activists. Be sure to set your donation to “private.” You can even specify how you want your donation to be used– medic training, medic gear, or jail support.”
Donate to People’s Programs at @peoples-programs, a bail fund in Oakland.
Donate to anyone who has found a company or person who has agreed to double their donations. Leandro will forward any venmo funds he finds.
Donate to organizations supporting Black, LGBTQ, and especially Trans people who are some of the people harmed the most by systemic racism and violence.
Here is a fund focused on providing support to Black, Trans, non-binary women in MN:
Here is a grassroots fund focused on supporting the LGBTQ+ community on a global scale
Donate to political campaigns:
Though we may not love Biden, we all must donate to his campaign! And we must continue to donate to Senate campaigns — we highly recommend donating to Sara Gideon in Maine, Cal Cunnigham in North Carolina, Jaime Harrison in South Carolina, Steve Bullock in Montana, Hickenlooper in Colorado, etc.
!! Donate to Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who is running for office in Florida !!
If you want to get involved with campaign work outside of donating, the organization Vote Save America is partnering with Organizing Together 2020 to run a volunteer training and organizing campaign called Adopt a State. You would adopt one of the six most important battleground states, participate in phone banking efforts, and donate to the campaigns that will determine this election.
Leandro and I would love to see where everyone else is donating. Please email all of us with your recommendations! Also, remember, that if you are part of almost any institution there are likely black, brown, LGBTQ+ community members who you may have overlooked, try and be cognisant of how you can help people in your immediate community!
For example, at Wesleyan, there is a gofundme for First Generation Low Income students.
If you have the time, please consider signing the petitions in the link listed below — this is a quick and easy way to become involved.
Writing emails and making calls:
My friends Gracie and Alice, in New York and LA, have put together a list of people to call in NY, DC, and LA and scripts for each call. They have also put together a number of people you can email. While you can use the template email, they are often screened and rendered ineffective (if you write just one sentence that strays from the script your email is less likely to be overlooked). All of you are such beautiful writers — put your powers of persuasion to work!!!!
Here is a link to their document:
If you are not in NY or LA, you can always use the address of a friend or loved one to make the calls. Joan and Ama, Jenny, Martha, etc. might be willing to share their addresses if need be.
Here is a guide from the ACLU for writing letters to demand the independent prosecution of George Floyd’s murders.
Here is a working list of cops and their badge numbers who have been involved in the murder and assault of black people across the United States.
Here are email templates if you want to write local and state representatives about reforming and defunding the police but REMEMBER you must add something from outside the template:
Last, but definitely not least, protests:
Leandro is the purveyor of all things protest related in this family (at least as far as I know). He will be attending a protest today in Washington Square Park at 4 p.m. EST. If not today, here are his recommendations for future protests:
Follow this instagram page @justiceforgeorgenyc. There are daily updates about the protests and their locations and Leandro will continue to update all of you via email.
A county-wide Juneteenth protest will be held in Bergen County. The demonstration will begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Teaneck High School track and will march to the Teaneck Public Library.
There will be a Juneteenth/protest march held in Somerville. Demonstrators will meet at the Somerset County Courthouse at 3 p.m. and walk down Bridge St. towards Rt. 22 and Rt. 206 and kneel for 8 minutes, 46 seconds before walking back to the courthouse.
Here are resources Leandro recommends if you decide to attend a protest:
If anyone else needs help finding local protests via social media, Leandro is at the ready!
There is no replacement for human encounter, if not in person, we must be on the phone, writing emails, and donating to those who can participate in public protest. This is our moment to take action. We all must check ourselves and make sure we are doing the most we can. Thank you Addie, for bringing this to our attention as a family and, more importantly, reminding us that we MUST have these conversations with the people who do not agree with us and whose minds we HAVE TO change!
Sending all our love to you,
Isobel & Leandro