and Campaigns Solidarity & Intersectionality
The campaigns and materials on this page
may or may not reflect positions of UMKR.
They are included to provide our readers
with a broad view of current opportunities
to address and dismantle systemic racism
and to reform those institutions that
On this page, left side:
• GBCS' Call to United Methodists
• UMC Webinar: Dismantling Racism,
Pressing on to Freedom
• Work with UMC bodies to Dismantle
Racism: BMCR, GCORR, GBCS, UMW
• National Campaign: Divest from
Violence, Invest in Justice for All
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Tony McDade
- Black Lives Matter to God
• Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
• The People's Budget Campaign
• National Bail Out Campaign
• Reparations for African Americans
On this page, right side:
• DEFUND THE POLICE, the national movement
• SUPPORT BLACK-LED ENDEAVORS: organizations, businesses, authors, etc.
THE UMC’s GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY (GBCS) REMINDS UNITED METHODISTS OF OUR VALUES AND CALLS ON US TO:
WORK for the elimination of racism in all its forms, institutional and personal.
(UMC Book of Resolutions 2016 #3371)
PARTNERwith elected officials and law enforcement to end racial profiling of
Black and Brown communities. (UMC Book of Resolutions 2016, #3377)
ADVOCATEfor the rights of formerly incarcerated persons and for more humane systems of restorative justice. (UMC Book of Resolutions 2016, #5031)
URGE white United Methodists and majority-white local churches to confront
their white privilege and repent for their participation in a culture of racist
practices. (UMC Book of Resolutions 2016, #3376)
SHARE conferences’ work undoing the culture of hate and name hate crimes in
their conference bounds. (UMC Book of Resolutions 2016, #3422)
PRESSING ON TO FREEDOM
Webinar from the United Methodist Church
1 July 2020
10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
FIND IT HERE: https://www.umc.org/en/content/dismantling-racism-town-hall
Many of us are wrestling with how we can most faithfully understand and interpret the realities of this present moment, both for ourselves and for our congregations. From pulpits and pews, we pray and hope for a yet-unrealized future where Black lives matter as much to our nation's decision-makers—and to each person of faith—as they do to our almighty God.
In the midst of this vital work of reckoning with the present and re-imagining the future, we extend to you an invitation to be like the Sankofa bird: to look back, even as we move forward.
The Council of Bishops, the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Women invite you to join a Town Hall conversation on July 1 at UMC.org/EndRacism, where we will take a deep dive into the true (and sometimes suppressed!) history of our nation and church. A panel of experts will dialogue with each other and with the audience as we engage key questions:
• Are we telling the story of our nation's history from the perspective of the lion or the lamb? How has a culture of white supremacy and settler colonialism distorted our understanding of our shared past?What are the truths we need to learn—and the lies we need to un-learn—about US history?
• What about our church ancestors? How and when have United Methodists furthered racist national projects and caused real harm? How and when have United Methodists showed up on the side of Jesus, justice and freedom for all peoples?
• How might a careful look into this past enable us to build a more Gospel-grounded future together -- for the church, the country and the broader world?
WORK WITH UNITED METHODISTS TO DISMANTLE RACISM:
BMCR, GCORR, GBCS, and UMW
See also: collected UMC Resources from across the denomination
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR)
Black Methodists for Church Renewal is the organized Black caucus of the United Methodist Church. We are one of the United Methodist denomination’s five U.S.-based ethnic caucuses. BMCR represents and is dedicated to more than 2,400 Black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African American members across the denomination.
Our mission is to raise up prophetic and spiritual leaders who will be advocates for the unique needs of Black people in The United Methodist Church.
We, the people called Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc., created in the image of God, confess our Faith in a living and just God. We call ourselves and the entire United Methodist Church to repentance, to rebuild God’s Church as a community of faith, to declare the traditions and stories of the Bible and Black culture, to reclaim the black community and to liberate all people from racism and injustice everywhere.
Learn more about the vital work of BMCR and join them: http://bmcrumc.org
BMCR CALL TO ACTION – June 8, 2020
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) stands in solidarity with any and all who fight for equity in economy of politics and pocketbooks. We speak in support of individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities, and entities who now sound the bell that has never ceased to toll, but has fallen on deafened ears for over 400 years. We can no longer hold our tongues no more than we can hold our breath. We have told the world and the church of our weariness from the incessant injustices that result from wars on us and any efforts we engage to overcome centuries of abuse in this country.
We lament the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and every black body gunned down, lynched up, and choked out on the basis of how black people are viewed as threats and treated as property. Their deaths cannot be in vain. Their sacrifices cannot simply be relegated to the lengthening of the lists that seems to be without end. Police tactics in the United States of America must be changed to reflect that of entities set in place to serve and to protect, not to dominate and to destroy. Lawmakers must hold themselves to a higher standard and insist that the wars ravaging black and brown communities in this nation must end today. Church leaders must hold clergy and laity to a gospel that centers the voices of people of color and all those who are truly at risk for simply being present in this world.
See the full call to action
General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)
GCORR was created by The United Methodist Church in 1968 to address the turbulent and exciting unrest, disease, hope and new possibilities unleashed as legalized racial segregation and separation were being dismantled in church and society.
The Commission was the vehicle through which the denomination invited white people and people of color to a common table to tackle institutional racism, engage in new conversations about what a truly desegregated and global church could look like, and chart a course for living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a more authentic and all-people-embracing way.
Today, the General Commission on Religion and Race is inviting and leading the church into new conversations about our relevance and our calling from God to serve a world that is far different than when we began our work. We want to build the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be more relevant to more people, younger people, and more diverse people in order to nurture disciples of Jesus Christ who will transform the world for the better. Our ministry model provides resources for congregations and church leaders to increase: Intercultural Competency, Institutional Equity and Vital Conversations.
Learn more, subscribe to their e-news and use GCORR’s excellent resources:
General Board of Church and Society (GBCS)
As United Methodists, we believe that God has given us principles for how to live in a community. Central to Jesus’ teachings, life, death, and resurrection is the Great Commandment: we must love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34)
“We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disability; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.”
— United Methodist Social Creed
Much of the Bible is devoted to figuring out how to follow this commandment. Nearly all of Church history is filled with devout Christians struggling — with failures and successes — to live out this commandment. What does it mean to love God? What does it look like when we love our neighbor?
What we believe about the nature of God and the nature of humanity also informs our understanding. Scripture tells us God created humankind in God’s image. What does that mean for how we treat each other?
We must take these questions seriously as followers of Christ.
We believe that in loving both God and neighbor, we must pursue God’s command of justice, liberation and flourishing for all people. We must work for the civil and human rights of every person.
Learn more and get involved in GBCS justice work to dismantle racism:
United Methodist Women (UMW)
Racial Justice: Advocacy and Education
Because We Believe…
United Methodist Women is deeply committed
to the ongoing work of racial justice. We seek
to be in right relationship with one another.
We work together for the transformation of
church and world, following the teaching and
example of Jesus Christ. To learn more about
criminalization of communities of color
• Connect with our current campaign to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline
• Meet the Racial Justice Charter support team
• Download the Racial Justice Toolkit:
Tools for Leaders: Resources for Racial Justice
Learn more and get involved:
VIRTUAL BOOK CLUBS
have moved to our page on
Dismantling Racism: Resources for learning and action
- see them under Learning Activities
DIVEST FROM VIOLENCE,
INVEST IN JUSTICE FOR ALL
68 Progressive Organization Tell Congress: Divest from Violence;
Invest in Justice for All
Led by US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Adalah Justice Project, MPower Change, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Democratic Socialists of America Palestine Working Group, Students for Justice in Palestine: University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Eyewitness Palestine, 68 progressive organizations responded to the Black Lives Matter uprising and Israel’s thread to annex more Palestinian lands by calling on Congress to divest from militarism and policing, from the US to Palestine.
"…The U.S. investment in militarism and policing of communities of color is global, and so our vision for justice policy must be shaped by our commitment that racial justice has no borders. Just as we join in the demand for our tax dollars to be divested from brutal police violence and a repressive military response to protesters asserting that #BlackLivesMatter, we call for an end to U.S.-funded violence abroad."
"Firstly, we call on you to take concrete steps to hold the Israeli government
accountable for its ongoing human rights violations and oppression against
the Palestinian people by ending the annual flow of $3.8 billion in military and
"Secondly, we call on you to uplift the vision of safety first advanced by the
Movement for Black Lives, to divest from policing and militarism and instead invest in Black communities by reallocating resources to community-led safety initiatives, education, housing, and healthcare for all."
Download a pdf of the letter
INDIVIDUALS can also SIGN this letter to Congress- click here
JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR
Breonna Taylor was an award-winning
EMT and first responder in Lousiville, KY,
who loved helping her patients and her
community. “She was an essential worker.
She had to go to work,” her mother,
Tamika Palmer said of her dedication to
standing on the frontlines of this
pandemic. “She didn’t have a problem
Breonna survived the frontlines of a
pandemic that disproportionately kills
Black people, only to have her life
stolen by police.
She was not only an exemplary citizen,
but an essential one. She was a daughter,
a friend, an American hero, and most importantly, a person. She deserved to be treated as such.
Demanded for justice:
1. The Mayor and City Council address the use of force by LMPD.
2. Fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna. Arrest, charge, and convict them for this crime.
3. Provide all necessary information to a local, independent civilian community police accountability council #CPAC.
4. Create policy for transparent investigation process due to law enforcement misconduct.
5. Drop all charges for Kenneth Walker, Breonna’s boyfriend, who attempted to defend them and their home. [DEMAND MET]
6. Release the 911 call to the public for accountability. [DEMAND MET]
7. Eliminate No Knock warrants (Updated 6-4-2020)
Learn more: https://justiceforbreonna.org/
Sign the petition #JusticeForBre
Sign the Color of Change petition
JUSTICE FOR TONY MCDADE
On May 27th, 2020, Tony McDade, a black transgender masculine person was shot five times in the back and killed by a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officer. TPD, notorious for its racism, white supremacy, and transphobia has consistently misgendered Tony and refused to release the officer’s body camera footage and/or admit their wrongdoing in murdering and misgendering an unarmed black trans person.
Learn more and demand justice or Tony McDade:
BLACK LIVES MATTER TO GOD
Faithful American petition to state governors
Across the country, faith leaders are taking to the streets and to their pulpits to proclaim that Black lives matter to God -- but sadly, that message is not yet a universal one.
We need a grassroots movement to show our governors that the religious right does not speak for Christianity about racism! Together, we can repudiate the church's legacy of slaveholder religion, a process that begins by echoing the demands of Black organizers and clergy.
See and sign their petition to Governors:
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN:
A NATIONAL CALL FOR MORAL REVIVAL
Open Letter to Our Nation’s Lawmakers on Systemic Racism
An unprecedented wave of protests for racial justice has swept the United States and the globe since the modern-day lynching of George Floyd on Memorial Day. This is radically shifting public opinion about the need to address systemic racism and Black Lives Matter in American public life. But the new nation being born in our streets must reckon with four centuries of systemic inequality. The public murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police furnished the spark and years of police violence caught on cell phone videos stacked up like dry tinder to fuel the fire that rages in our spirits. This is about more than policing. The question before us is whether America can be what it has promised to be.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is therefore sending this letter to our nation’s lawmakers to end systemic racism and implement a reconstruction agenda for our country.
We lift up those who are taking action against police brutality and all forms of violence against black, brown, indigenous and poor people. Our collective public mourning is an expression of outrage, anguish and pain from these multiple pandemics of police violence, policy violence and economic violence. We are committed to ending systemic racism, poverty, militarism, climate crisis and a distorted moral narrative that denies, excuses and justifies violence against us.
We need sweeping change. The long train of abuses demands it. Too many deaths demand it. And the protests demand it.
We demand that our politicians address the full extent of this violence — not only the police violence — that we have been suffering from for generations.
Somebody’s been hurting our people for far too long. And we won’t be silent anymore.
1. Protect and expand the right to vote.
2. There must be consequences for abuses of police power, and justice for families and communities who have been harmed and terrorized by police violence must be a matter of law.
3. Demilitarize the police. End mass incarceration. Stop criminalizing the poor.
4. Establish real security by taking care of our health needs in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond and address the poverty and disinvestment in our communities that brought us to this point.
5. Working with frontline movements and impacted communities, establish a National Truth Commission on the violence of systemic racism.
These demands are part of the Moral Agenda of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and reflect our policy priorities. They were first released in April 2018, have been delivered to Congress and state houses and read aloud in mass meetings, hearings, marches and bus tours in more than 40 states. Lawmakers and legislators — Republican, Democrat and independents — have been put on notice that the Poor People’s Campaign is holding them to account to this agenda.
See the full list of demands and Sign the Open Letter to Our Nation’s Lawmakers on Systemic Racism:
THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET CAMPAIGN
[UMKR’s note: Although this campaign is not focused explicitly on the issue of racism, because poor people in the US are so disproportionately people of color, it is a much needed effort to address the consequences of centuries of systemic racism in the United States.]
"Today, U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), led members of the CPC in introducing the FY 2019 People’s Budget: A Progressive Path Forward.
The People’s Budget creates a blueprint for a government that invests in our communities, not corporate CEOs, by making bold investments in health care, infrastructure, education, and other areas that face steep cuts in the Republican budget."
See more about the national People’s Budget Campaign:
Los Angeles has a city-level version of the People's Budget campaign that is gaining a lot of attention nationally:
A Look at the ‘People’s Budget’ L.A. Activists Are Promoting
People’s Budget LA: A Coalition Led by Black Lives Matter LA
SEE AND DOWNLOAD A PEOPLES BUDGET TOOLKIT - CLICK HERE
National Bail Out
The Black Codes of Bail are policies and practices associated with pretrial detention that trap people in the criminal legal system, exploit them economically, condemn them to debt, attempt to control their movement and interaction with family and loved ones, or make them vulnerable to further criminalization.
Much like the Black Codes passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, which were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of Black people and to ensure their continued economic exploitation and social degradation, Black Codes of Bail limit the freedom of Black communities and make them vulnerable to state control and exploitation.
Watch this 1-minute video about Black Codes of Bail
Learn more about Black Codes of Bail:
Everyday tens of thousands of people languish in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. In addition to the over $9 billion wasted to incarcerate people who have been convicted of no crime, pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on families and communities, on our communities in particular. Black people are over two times more likely to be arrested and once arrested are twice as likely to be caged before trial. Our LGBTQ and gender nonconforming family are targeted and caged at even more alarming rates, and once in jail are significantly more likely to be sexually and physically abused.
The National Bail Out Collective is committed to getting our people free through bail outs, advocacy, and leadership development. We believe that pretrial reform must be lead by communities most impacted and not by institutional actors or corporate interests, who are entrenched and benefit from the current system. Our communities are the real experts and are best equipped to name the problems and mold the solutions. We work to make sure our people are out of cages and have the tools and resources they need to advocate for themselves!
The National Bail Out collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant.
Learn more and support this campaign:
Dismantling Racism: Actions
Don't miss the campaigns & actions on the right.➹
The campaigns and materials on this page may or may not reflect positions of UMKR. They are included to provide our readers with a broad view of current opportunities to address and dismantle systemic racism and to reform those institutions that are redeemable.
Mural of Harriet Tubman, former slave and Abolitionist
Dismantling Racism - RESOURCES
for learning & action: click here
▶︎ From Palestine Advocacy Groups: click here
▶︎ From United Methodist leaders and bodies: click here
▶︎ See Black-Palestinian solidarity, historic and current: click here
African American Policy Forum (AAPF)
Founded in 1996, The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists and policy-makers to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality. We utilize new ideas and innovative perspectives to transform public discourse and policy. We promote frameworks and strategies that address a vision of racial justice that embraces the intersections of race, gender, class, and the array of barriers that disempower those who are marginalized in society. AAPF is dedicated to advancing and expanding racial justice, gender equality, and the indivisibility of all human rights, both in the U.S. and internationally.
AAPF: The #SayHerName Campaign
#SayHerName Launched in December 2014 by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS), the campaign brings awareness to the often invisible names and stories of Black women and girls who have been victimized by racist police violence, and provides support to their families. https://aapf.org/sayhername
Be the Bridge
We empower people and culture toward racial healing, equity and reconciliation.
Our vision is that people and organizations are aware and responding to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. People are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but are grounded in truth. All are equipped to flourish.
Inspire: Inspire people to have a distinctive and transformative response to racial division and be present and intentional toward racial reconciliation.
Equip: Equip bridge-builders toward fostering and developing vision, skills, and heart for racial healing.
Partner: Partner with existing organizations who have a heart for racial justice, restoration, and reconciliation. https://bethebridge.com
Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM)
BEAM is an organization working to "remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing," according to its mission statement. Support programs that address mental health and healing in Black communities.
Black Lives Matter
The BLM movement, founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, is a multi-national organization that combats white supremacy through demonstrations, petitions, and online organizing. https://blacklivesmatter.com
Black Youth Project 100
Founded in 2013, BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. BYP100 was, at one point, just a hashtag for the 2013 “Beyond November Movement Convening” developed through the vision and leadership of Cathy Cohen. https://www.byp100.org/
We can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability. It will take deliberate action by policymakers at every level of government to end police violence.
Over 1,000 people are killed by police every year in America. We are calling on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take immediate action to adopt data-driven policy solutions to end this violence and hold police accountable.
Color of Change
Color Of Change helps you do something real about injustice. Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization.
We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real. https://colorofchange.org
Today, the Dream Defenders is organizing Black and Brown youth to build power in our communities to advance a new vision we have for the state. Our agenda is called the Freedom Papers. Through it,
we are advancing our vision of safety and security – away from prisons, deportation, and war –
and towards healthcare, housing, jobs and movement for all. https://dreamdefenders.org
NAACP Legal Defense and
The LDF has fought racial injustice through litigation, advocacy, and public education for over 75 years. Support the organization's continued battle to improve our judicial system here.
Reclaim the Block
Started in 2018, Reclaim the Block organizes the Minneapolis community and council members to move funds from the hands of the police to other areas covered by the city's budget. "We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments," the organization says in its mission statement.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
SURJ’s role as part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially-just society. That work cannot be done in isolation from or disconnected from the powerful leadership of communities of color. It is one part of a multi-racial, cross-class movement centering the leadership of people of color.
Therefore, SURJ believes in resourcing organizing led by people of color, and maintaining strong accountability relationships with organizers and communities of color as central part of our theory of change.
When those of us who are white realize that racial justice is core to our liberation as well, then masses of white people will withdraw support from white supremacy. Together, as part of a powerful multi-racial, cross-class movement for collective liberation we can force the system of white supremacy to crumble. https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org
United Negro College Fund
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
For more than seven decades, this principle has remained at the heart of UNCF, enabling us to raise more than $5 billion and help more than 500,000 students and counting not just attend college, but thrive, graduate and become leaders.
Along with important national movements, you can also support local Black-owned businesses and community organizations.
SUPPORT BLACK OWNED
At this website, see thousands of black-owned businesses and professional practices: see them in every state across the US, or search for a type of business or service you need.
Go there: supportblackowned.com
The thrillist website offers places to shop or donate in several major cities around the US:
New York City
10 Black-Owned Bookstores to Support While at Home
While many of us are social distancing, online shopping makes it much easier for us to get everything we want and need. If you need some new additions to your book collections, check out these Black-owned online bookstores:
Defunding the police in the United States is Palestine work:
Discussion on solidarity with Sandra Tamari and Khury Petersen-Smith
“This is a moment for radical solidarity. It is a time to be humble as Palestine organizers to understand the fight for justice is a multifront battle. Our call right now is to lift up the Black struggle against injustice. In doing that, we are not saying that Palestinian concerns about Israeli state violence or annexation are less important. Instead we are recognizing the four centuries of pain and trauma Blacks in the United States have faced and understand that when Black people are free, all of us are free. When Black people in the U.S. win, Palestine wins. We are both fighting against state-sanctioned, systematic racism that is upheld by violence. Our collective liberation is what’s at stake.
See the full article
Why We Should Advocate for Defunding the Police
Christian Peacemaker Teams
We at Christian Peacemaker Teams are enraged by the Minneapolis police officers’ murder of George Floyd, less than a month after the shootings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We grieve as we witness the pandemic of police brutality take Black life in a time when Black citizens of the United States are four times more likely to die of COVID-19 than their white neighbors. These two causes of death are connected. Such terror would not be possible without layers of anti-Black racism and white supremacy.
The courage of protestors with raised fists inspires us. They challenge a system of violence that has placed little value on the lives of our Black siblings; we must join them to shut it down.
See the full statement
What ‘defund the police’
might look like
Washington Post • Rachel Hatzipanagos
“As the Black Lives Matter movement has gained more acceptance with the public and mainstream institutions, a new slogan from activists has emerged that is now drawing scrutiny: “Defund the police.” D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, looking to send a message to President Trump, approved a giant mural painted in the street near the White House.
Activists were unimpressed, calling on the mayor to make a statement by instead making major changes in city’s police department budget. They painted “Defund the Police” beside her mural. And during the past week, the phrase has become a part of the national political debate. Trump has used it to attack Democrats, and members of Congress are debating it as they work on legislation to address police brutality and racial profiling.
Interview with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public
policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, about the context behind the new rallying cry.
What does “defund the police” entail?
It’s an evolving set of ideas and demands that are being spurred by activists and movement leaders rather than coming from academic research. What activists are demanding is shifting resources away from police agencies toward public goods that would enhance the health, safety, efficacy, sense of belonging and citizenship within communities. And that means starting with a list of things that police officers do that they should not be doing —
and in many ways they never should have been doing — as activists and certainly some of the research like my own historically suggests.”
See the full article
Movement to defund police
gains 'unprecedented' support across US
The Guardian • Sam Levin
"The movement to defund the police is gaining significant support across America, including from elected leaders, as protests over the killing of George Floyd sweep the nation. For years, activists have pushed US cities and states to cut law enforcement budgets amid a dramatic rise in spending on police and prisons while funding for vital social services has shrunk or disappeared altogether.
Government officials have long dismissed the idea as a leftist fantasy, but the recent unrest and massive budget shortfalls from the Covid-19 crisis appear to have inspired more mainstream recognition of the central arguments behind defunding."
"Amid the protests, some local leaders with budgeting powers have started proposing modest cuts to policing. The most substantial change so far, has come in Minneapolis where the school board on Tuesday voted to end its contract with the police department.
The University of Minnesota has also pledged to stop working with police.
"People have been fighting for years to get cops out of schools, and now it’s happening overnight,” said Tony Williams, a member of MPD150, an abolition group whose literature on building a “police-free future” has spread on social media in recent days. One elected
Minneapolis ward member said this week that the city’s police department was “irredeemably beyond reform”, the kind of remark that would until recently have been unthinkable to organizers."
See the full article
Inside the decade-long movement to defund police in schools
LA Times • By Sonali Kohli and Howard Blume
“In the midst of the 1980s war on drugs and in the wake of devastating mass school shootings throughout the country, bolstering school police in Los Angeles was seen as a safety imperative by many educators and parents. But for the last decade, a number of student advocacy groups have pushed the school board to reduce police presence in their schools, saying Black and Latino children are targeted for discipline more than others.
The Los Angeles School Police Department now employs about 470 officers and civilians, including placement of an armed and uniformed officer at every high school. In a highly publicized turn last week, the leadership of the Los Angeles teachers union voted to support the elimination of the $70-million school police budget.”
See the full article
Defund the Police: Here’s What That Really Means
Washington Post • Christy E. Lopez, Professor at Georgetown Law School; co-director of the school’s Innovative Policing Program.
“….Be not afraid. “Defunding the police” is not as scary (or even as radical) as it sounds, and engaging on this topic is necessary if we are going to achieve the kind of public safety we need. During my 25 years dedicated to police reform, including in places such as Ferguson, Mo., New Orleans and Chicago, it has become clear to me that “reform” is not enough. Making sure that police follow the rule of law is not enough. Even changing the laws is not enough.
To fix policing, we must first recognize how much we have come to over-rely on law enforcement.”
See the full article
Sign the Petition
Enough is enough.
Our pain, our cries, and our need to be seen and heard resonate throughout this entire country.
We demand acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police.
We call for radical, sustainable solutions that affirm the prosperity of Black lives.
George Floyd’s violent death was a breaking point — an all too familiar reminder that, for Black people, law enforcement doesn’t protect or save our lives. They often threaten and take them.
Right now, Minneapolis and cities across our country are on fire, and our people are hurting — the violence against Black bodies felt in the ongoing mass disobedience, all while we grapple with a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting, infecting, and killing us.
We call for an end to the systemic racism that allows this culture of corruption to go unchecked and our lives to be taken.
We call for a national defunding of police. We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. If you’re with us, add your name to the petition right now and help us spread the word.
SIGN THE PETITION:
At the same page, see on the right: you can Subscribe to news and alerts on the BLM movement
From Dream Defenders:
Defund Police, Rebuild Our
from one of the leading organizations in the
Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)
How white people can support the call to defund the police
AFSC • Mila Hamilton
“First, in order for us to do this in a real way, we are going to have to start addressing how white supremacy shows up individually and relationally between us as white people and with BIPOC. This is critical, especially as we begin to imagine what a community that is defunding its police force will look like. If we (white people) are not intentional about noticing and addressing the ways in which white supremacy shows up for us, we will consciously or unconsciously work to subvert this movement and reproduce structures that prioritize the safety and maintenance of white bodies and our property over the humanity and lives of BIPOC.”
“Second, we have to actually commit to doing this work for the long-term. It has been our collective failure to do so that has allowed this to happen.”
“Last and most importantly, we must understand our role in this movement. This is an uprising that is centering the leadership, communities, lives, and liberation of BIPOC. For white people, it is inappropriate to assume leadership for this moment.”
See the full article
Defund the Police Now
Color of Change
Following weeks of national protests calling for police reform, political leaders in Washington are finally taking steps to address the crisis of policing.
For years, public officials have been significantly underfunding the social safety net in Black and brown communities resulting in mass unemployment, homelessness, and mental health crises as well as poor quality education for our children.
Yet, police budgets have only ballooned over the years. More importantly, police are not trained to deal with these societal issues with compassion or care but rather encouraged to use lethal force. Overinvestment in police and underinvestment in public services lead to more criminalization of Black and Brown communities.
Simply put, we cannot keep doing this. Police do not keep our communities safe, they are dangerous and have demonstrated over and over again an unwillingness to be held accountable. We have to try new strategies that will cultivate stability and foster trust in our communities. And it starts with reducing federal funding to police.
Our lives literally depend on it.
TAKE ACTION: See the petition and sign
Defunding the Police: What It Takes to End Police Violence
Medium • Movement for Black Lives
“Millions have taken to the streets with a clear and distinct call to end police violence and to defund police. They have been met with a brutal wave of repression from police
departments across the country, with the unequivocal blessing of the Trump
We need to be explicit. Much has been made about re-introducing existing use-of-force regulations as a potential way forward on police violence. Regulations are important as they can function as a guide for police departments of any size or scale. But, we cannot be more clear: they are insufficient as a solution to the problem of police violence, either incrementally or as a tool of transformation. This is not an area of debate, it is both materially and morally true.”
See the full article
In response to a legacy of police and proxy violence that most recently took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade, people have taken to the streets in protest. This uprising against excessive, brutal, and militarized policing has called for decision makers in city, state, and federal government to defund the police after decades of inaction and failed reforms, consent decrees, investigations, and oversight.
In just a few weeks, the organizations and leaders of the Movement for Black Lives have worked as part of this protest movement to accomplish what many thought was impossible. Now, cities across the country are considering proposals to defund the police.
Learn about this growing national campaign -
See Values and Vision, Talking Points, Tough Q&A, and more: https://m4bl.org/defund-the-police/
Can We Tell You Something?
Black Lives Matter
We know that police don't keep us safe -- and as long as we continue to pump money into our corrupt criminal justice system at the expense of housing, health, and education investments -- we will never be truly safe.
That's why we are calling to #DefundPolice and #InvestInCommunities -- and in our new video, Black Lives Matter Managing Director Kailee Scales helps break down just how it works.
Click the image below to watch this video on Youtube.
An Appeal from UMKR
UMKR has important church legislation for our denomination's global General Conference, to be held in 2021. These resolutions address:
• protecting Palestinian children,
• defending the right to boycott,
•divesting from the bonds of occupation governments, and other timely justice issues.
We also have BIG PLANS for educating
A LOT of people throughout our church about Palestinian rights, with literature, displays, speakers, meals, and witness actions!
With very limited resources, UMKR has made a BIG impact in the global United Methodist Church! Groundbreaking divestment and boycott actions by the UMC would never have happened without UMKR's advocacy AND all the extraordinary partners and allies who helped us.
General Conference is always our BEST OPPORTUNITY to make a worldwide impactfor Palestinian rights throughout our denomination.
But, if we are to succeed in our advocacy with thousands of United Methodists who come to General Conference from four continents,
WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP.
Please give as generously as you can,
and know that whatever you are able to give
will be greatly appreciated.
Memphis 1968 Harlem 2020
General Conference 2020 has been
scheduled for Aug-Sept 2022. Our justice legislation is still vital & needs
YOUR support! LEARN MORE:
🔶 See New Items 🔴 New on our site
National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC)
Established in April, 2015, the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) is a group of distinguished professionals from across the country with outstanding accomplishments in the fields of law, medicine, journalism, academia, history, civil rights and social justice advocacy.
They are united in a common commitment to fight for reparatory justice, compensation and restoration of African American communities that were plundered by the historical crimes of slavery, segregation and colonialism and that continue to be victimized by the legacies of slavery and American apartheid.
NAARC’s Preliminary 10 Point Reparations Program
A Document for Review, Revision and Adoption as a Platform to Guide the Struggle for Reparations for People of African Descent in the U.S.
“No amount of material resources or monetary compensation can ever be sufficient restitution for the spiritual, mental, cultural and physical damages inflicted on Africans by centuries of the MAAFA, the holocaust of enslavement and the institution of chattel slavery. These crimes against Black humanity, as affirmed by the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, were responsible for the death of millions of Africans who were ripped from their families and nations to labor for the enrichment of industries, commercial and financial institutions and individuals in Europe and the United States. In large measure the wealth of the new American nation was accumulated from the centuries of free labor, brutally extracted from enslaved Africans. With the “abolition” of slavery the “emancipated” sons and daughters of Africa suffered systematic, often violent repression, oppression, exploitation and deprivation under southern apartheid and de facto segregation in every region of this nation."
“The fulfillment of a “more perfect union” is not possible without an unequivocal acknowledgement of/ and unqualified apology for the “original sins” committed by the European colonialists in brutally, dispossessing the Native people of their lands and the horrific enslavement of Africans to be the economic lifeblood of the “American nation;” a nation conceived to be a “White man’s land.” A more perfect union must be predicated on a new covenant which acknowledges the crimes against humanity committed by European colonialists, the “founding fathers” of this nation and their progeny, and the granting of reparations as restitution to repair and heal the damages done to Native people and Africans.
As a matter of principle, each aggrieved, affected, and offended people must speak for themselves. On behalf of our African ancestors and succeeding generations of unsung heroes and heroines who have historically kept the fight for reparations alive up until the present, which includes the following….”
See the full plan online
Download the 10-Point Plan Booklet
“We’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired” – The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Demand for Reparations
A Statement by the National African American Reparations Commission
“The novel Coronavirus Pandemic has revealed the longstanding disparities in health conditions for African Americans in the United States. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “shocked” and “disturbed” upon learning that black Chicagoans, who make up 30 percent of the city’s residents, accounted for 70 percent of the fatalities. “Those numbers take your breath away,” she declared. These statistics were “among the most shocking things I think I have seen as mayor.” However, the situation in Chicago corresponds with what is occurring in cities and states throughout the nation.”
See the full statement
Download the PDF version
Fund for Reparations NOW! (FFRN)
The Fund for Reparations NOW! (FFRN!) is the white ally initiative of the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), dedicated to the immediate implementation of the 10-Point Reparations Plan. The Fund was launched in 2019 by David Gardinier and a nationwide group of white progressives in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in Jamestown, Virginia.
Following NAARC’s Black leadership, FFRN! is designed to model what reparations could look like through the 10-Point Plan when they are formally granted from the federal government. White users can participate in this online reparations platform by signing a Statement of Apology, making their reparations contribution, and accessing resources aimed at helping them continue a lifelong anti-racist practice.
The ultimate goal of this work is to see formal reparations for African Americans from the U.S. government within our lifetimes. In the meantime, there is the Fund for Reparations NOW!
Action for white Americans and all those who feel they benefit from white privilege - Get involved with FFRN:
What Is Owed
New York Times • Nikole Hannah-Jones
…It has been more than 150 years since the white planter class last called up the slave patrols and deputized every white citizen to stop, question and subdue any black person who came across their paths in order to control and surveil a population who refused to submit to their enslavement. It has been 150 years since white Americans could enforce slave laws that said white people acting in the interest of the planter class would not be punished for killing a black person, even for the most minor alleged offense. Those laws morphed into the black codes, passed by white Southern politicians at the end of the Civil War to criminalize behaviors like not having a job. Those black codes were struck down, then altered and over the course of decades eventually transmuted into stop-and-frisk, broken windows and, of course, qualified immunity. The names of the mechanisms of social control have changed, but the presumption that white patrollers have the legal right to kill black people deemed to have committed minor infractions or to have breached the social order has remained.
It devastates black people that all the other black deaths before George Floyd did not get us here. It devastates black people to recall all the excuses that have come before. That big black boy, Michael Brown, must have charged the weapon-carrying officer. Eric Garner should have stopped struggling. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend had a weapon in her home and shouldn’t have shot at the people who, without a knock or an announcement, burst through her door. We’re not sure what Ahmaud Arbery was doing in that predominantly white neighborhood. Rayshard Brooks, who in the midst of nationwide protests against police violence was shot in the back twice by a police officer, just shouldn’t have resisted.
It should devastate us all that in 2020 it took a cellphone video broadcast across the globe of a black man dying from the oldest and most terrifying tool in the white-supremacist arsenal to make a vast majority of white Americans decide that, well, this might be enough.
We, now, have finally arrived at the point of this essay. Because when it comes to truly explaining racial injustice in this country, the table should never be set quickly: There is too much to know, and yet we aggressively choose not to know it.
See the full article
Why We Need Reparations for Black Americans
Brookings • Rashawn Ray and Andre M. Perry
Central to the idea of the American Dream lies an assumption that we all have an equal opportunity to generate the kind of wealth that brings meaning to the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” boldly penned in the Declaration of Independence. The American Dream portends that with hard work, a person can own a home, start a business, and grow a nest egg for generations to draw upon. This belief, however, has been defied repeatedly by the United States government’s own decrees that denied wealth-building opportunities to Black Americans.
Today, the average white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the average Black family. White college graduates have over seven times more wealth than Black college graduates. Making the American Dream an equitable reality demands the same U.S. government that denied wealth to Blacks restore that deferred wealth through reparations to their descendants in the form of individual cash payments in the amount that will close the Black-white racial wealth divide. Additionally, reparations should come in the form of wealth-building opportunities that address racial disparities in education, housing, and business ownership.
In 1860, over $3 billion was the value assigned to the physical bodies of enslaved Black Americans to be used as free labor and production. This was more money than was invested in factories and railroads combined. In 1861, the value placed on cotton produced by enslaved Blacks was $250 million. Slavery enriched white slave owners and their descendants, and it fueled the country’s economy while suppressing wealth building for the enslaved. The United States has yet to compensate descendants of enslaved Black Americans for their labor. Nor has the federal government atoned for the lost equity from anti-Black housing, transportation, and business policy. Slavery, Jim Crow segregation, anti-Black practices like redlining, and other discriminatory public policies in criminal justice and education have robbed Black Americans of the opportunities to build wealth (defined as assets minus debt) afforded to their white peers.
See the full article
Reparations Now: A White Man’s Appeal
Forbes • Seth Cohen
"Beginning 400 years ago, and for more than 250 years of our nation’s history, slaves built the United States into one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. As a result, America owes an unconscionable and unforgivable debt to the ancestors of those slaves. Yet now, as the country is challenged to confront both the violent legacy of slavery and the dehumanizing tradition of systemic racism that pervades every aspect of its society, it is finally time for that overdue debt to be paid in full.
Importantly, however, the call for that redemption of justice shouldn’t be made only by the descendants of Black individuals that have been systemically wronged and oppressed – white Americans, including men like me, have a special, and unquestionable, responsibility to take up the cause of reparations, and help make them happen."
Read the full article
In a photo from the Library of Congress, free men, women, and children in Richmond, VA, 1865. In 1865, formerly enslaved people were promised 40 acres of land and, later, a mule. More than 150 years since then, some politicians are trying to make good on a version of that promise through reparations. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/NYT
Calling on white Americans: Reparations for slavery are due
The legacy of slavery is far from resolved. It persists every day and
The Boston Globe • David Gardinier and Karen Hilfman
“Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer, and the resounding anti-racist uprisings around the world, the concept of reparations has picked up momentum in national conversations and has sparked new public curiosity and interest. Among Black people and their ancestors, however, reparations for slavery have been on their hearts and minds for a very long time.”
“Even after all these years and excruciating efforts, our country still has never managed to atone for the brutal devastation that began in 1619, when enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Va.
“The legacy of slavery is far from resolved. It persists every day and everywhere, as evidenced by income and wealth inequality, disparate living conditions and health outcomes, police brutality and mass incarceration, and the overall white supremacist system that treats white and Black lives in vastly different ways.
“The other side of this history, the part that was rarely told, is that the wealth generated from all that “free” enslaved labor, combined with the theft of land from indigenous peoples, is what placed white Americans solidly among the wealthiest people on earth today.”
See the full article
See Anti-racist Resources from FFRN
See the NAARC Reparations Resource Center
Don't miss campaigns & actions on the right. ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎
REPARATIONS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS
for our work to continue.
UMKR needs your support
97 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Medium • Corinne Shutack
Achieving racial justice is a marathon, not a sprint. Our work to fix what we broke and left broken isn’t done until Black folks tell us it’s done. See this
The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest. However, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights. Make sure you’re prepared by brushing up on your rights before heading out into the streets. Learn more
Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups
White Caucuses are an important mechanism for people who identify as white and/or have white skin privilege to do our own work. It provides us an environment and intention to authentically and critically engage in whiteness, white privilege, and hold each other accountable for change. We explore how to recognize whiteness and white privilege, identify and interrupt our internalized dominance, and collectively develop strategies for liberation and change. Caucuses are our group-level work (building upon our individual self work) so that we individually and collectively can be effective partners for change.
Protest and Police Intervention Tips