Dear Chicago NOW Community,
The mask of community has been further tattered as nefarious systemic racism reveals itself during our pandemic response. Breonna Taylor was murdered in her home by police. A former police officer and his son cornered and murdered innocent jogger Ahmaud Arbery. And we all watched in horror as the police drained the life from George Floyd as others stood by in silence and inaction.
At Chicago NOW, we are examining how to be better. Not just as non-racists, but as anti-racists. It is important during this time for our white and non-black community members to listen and watch with open hearts. We must take this inquiry further by also examining how our personal inaction supports an inherently unjust system and perpetuates violence against men and women of color.
We must do more. Our collective action must be urgent, intentional and unambiguous. We invite community feedback as to how CNOW can be a stronger community partner in the march for justice as we affirmatively stand in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers.
This is the fight of our lifetimes. We cannot stand idly when justice requires action.
Last Friday, we released a call to action for critical change. You can read that statement on our website.
Please read on for links to local organizations on the frontlines that you can support at this time, as well as some recommended reads for further education.
Local Organizations to Follow & Support:
- Assata’s Daughters
- Black Lives Matter Chicago
- Black Lives Matter Lake County
- Black Lives Matter Springfield
- Bloomington-Normal NAACP
- Brave Space Alliance
- BYP100 Chicago
- Chicago Community Bond Fund
- Chicago Freedom School
- My Block, My Hood, My City
Recommending Reading & Other Resources
“Anti-Racism Resources for White People” | Forbes
“Six Simple Ways White Women Can Be Feminist Allies to Black Communities” | Ms. Magazine
“Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup” | Pretty Good
What CNOW Board Members Are Currently Reading
Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement by Barbara Ransby
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo
The Death Gap by David Ansell
Consider ordering books from Semicolon Chi (515 N. Halsted St.), the only Black woman-owned bookstore in Chicago!
Again, we welcome community feedback as to how CNOW can be a stronger community partner in the march for justice.