Last updated: 02 Jul 2020
In response to the deaths (most recently) of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery, we’re listening, learning, and making changes. Police brutality and systemic racism must be dismantled.
To begin, we need to acknowledge that we’re a group of white folks, who benefit from just that—being white. From our position of privilege, we have a lot of work to do. Continuing to allow racism to contaminate almost every aspect of our lives is unacceptable.
We also believe we’re at the crux of one of the greatest opportunities for significant advances in civil rights: major changes are happening across the country even as we write this.
None of these changes have happened overnight: Black Lives Matter, other organizations like the NAACP, and countless individuals have been working for them for years, if not decades. Our own concerted efforts are long overdue.
We’re sharing here mostly to hold ourselves accountable. But we also hope you’ll join us in the learning, reading, and other actions we mention below. We’ll update this regularly to reflect new thoughts and steps we’ve taken.
Defunding the police
As Chris (Faculty's founder) wrote, “it’s important to understand why people are angry.” Right now, the most visible thing is police violence. In addition to the details Chris shares in his post, we found these links helpful:
- Mapping Police Violence collects and makes data about police violence more accessible.
- Qualified Immunity: Explained walks through the doctrine that prevents police from being held accountable for abuses of authority—and the case against it.
As we’ve learned more, we’ve followed a similar trajectory to what Laura Olin described in her newsletter: from supporting police reform to supporting defunding and abolishing police. As she wrote, it’s “the only way to stop their systemic violence against and mistreatment of Black people.”
Laura included some useful links for supporting the movement of funds out of police departments and into health, housing, and human services:
- Defund12.org is an open-source tool with templates for emails to government officials and council members, asking them to reallocate police budgets. Find your city and send an email.
- #8toAbolish explains why reforming police departments isn’t enough and the steps we need to take to equip our communities to support everyone’s safety and well-being.
Moving from racism to anti-racism
It’s not enough to be not racist. Racism and white supremacy are deeply ingrained in our culture. Getting rid of them requires active work against them. As one small example, Jared Yates Sexton, author of American Rule, explains how the Confederacy fought for white supremacy (not State’s rights) and how it has continued to influence American politics in this detailed Twitter thread.
As another example, Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America has an interactive map that illustrates how racism prevented non-white people from accumulating generational wealth through the purchase of a home. We know many of our own white families benefited from being able to get mortgages and buy property. We’re reading more about how housing policies promoted discriminatory practices that are still persistent in The Color of Law.
For a broader perspective on racism in America, we’re listening to the audio version of Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning on Spotify.
Supporting the cause
Henry (a designer at Faculty) created Mission: Petition to make it easy to find and sign petitions related to Black Lives Matter. Petitions help, even if they don’t immediately appear to make an impact. So, go to Mission: Petition and start signing.
We’ve also been donating to the following organizations:
- Black Lives Matter 5280 (Denver)
- Colorado Freedom Fund
- MPD 150
- Reclaim the Block
- Black Visions Collective
Last but not least, to further support our work in moving from racist to anti-racist, we’ll be looking into resources and articles from these sites:
We have our work cut out for us.
Hero photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash.