Now Is Not The Time For Complacency – The reFRESH

May 29, 2020

Image by GirlTrek

Written by Jackson Bird

As we end this very painful week, we’re using this newsletter to uplift black voices and share anti-racism resources.

What we’re checking out…

Bridget Read spoke with five young people who have been protesting in Minneapolis about this inflection point, and how police brutality poses a bigger threat to their lives than the virus.

In The Nation, Elie Mystal wrote about the ways that white people continue to prop up racist, murderous cops.

On that note, we recommend this brief history of how American policing has its origins in slave patrols.

If you are white, please read this piece from Liz Plank on holding each other accountable and then learn how to take anti-racist action from this great guide from Zyahna Bryant at Teen Vogue.

And bookmark this comprehensive list of anti-racism resources––videos, books, podcasts, social media accounts, tips for white parents, and more.

We also want to recommend two essays from our speakers that were written several years ago, but are unfortunately just as relevant today: “In Defense of Black Rage” by Brittney Cooper and “Read This If You’re Feeling Helpless After Last Week’s Tragedies” by Jamia Wilson.

For a reminder that white supremacy is constant and far-reaching, listen to I Heart Radio’s latest true crime narrative podcast The Missionary, about a fraudulent white woman who killed hundreds of Ugandan children by masquerading as a doctor. It’s an enraging, but important listen.

With Twitter this week finally flagging President Trump’s tweets for misinformation and inciting violence, it’s a great time to learn more about the legality and ethics of these platforms. Fortunately, there was a virtual SXSW panel this year on exactly the section of the Communications Decency Act that the president has been railing about this week.

And because we could all use a moment to tap out, breathe, and distract ourselves… try Wendy MacNaughton’s contour drawing exercise as explained and beautifully illustrated in The New York Times.

Wendy MacNaughton, The New York Times

For our reFRESHing Talk of the Week, we recommend you listen to Wednesday’s episode of What a Day in which Akilah Hughes discusses how the sharing of videos of black people being murdered by police desensitizes us to black pain and how non-black people must do better.

What We’re Watching…

Mia Birdsong and FRESH Co-Founder Courtney Martin had a discussion on Mia’s My Brilliant Friends series about how white people can be anti-racist as a lived practice.

Jamia Wilson and Jackson Bird will be in conversation on Wednesday, June 3rd, as part of The Center for Fiction’s Pride series. Register here to attend.

Susan McPherson is continuing her McPherson Memo Live series with new guests every Tuesday and Friday. See the schedule and tune in here.

In the latest installment of Demanding Women, Shannon Watts spoke with Representative Val Demings about combatting gun violence during the pandemic.

The latest from our speakers…

Simran Jeet Singh and his family had COVID-19. Thankfully, they have all recovered. He shared what he learned from the experience for The Religious News Service.

Brittney Cooper appeared on The Ari Melber Show to discuss black people and other people of color are bearing the brunt of COVID-19, in more ways than it appears on the surface.

Jamil Smith wrote for Rolling Stone about Joe Bidens “you ain’t black” comment.

Franklin Leonard chatted with Janelle Monae on The Black List’s podcast.

Jackson Bird interviewed YouTube’s Vice President of Creator Products about concerns facing LGBTQ+ creators on the platform.

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