White Folks Facing Race: Indigenous Rights and Equity Concerns Across the Board

[This is part of my White Folks Facing Race series, originally written on July 23, 2020 to an email group created for community members in the Washington, DC area.]

Hi Friends!

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of John Lewis. He was one of the voices I knew I could count on speaking up with power and experience and his voice will be missed. You can learn more about his life and legacy at “John Lewis: Good Trouble — Virtual Cinema” from the NAACP (rental fee supports the NAACP). Many tributes were written in his memory:
- The NAACP wrote a tribute
- Barack Obama wrote a tribute
- Lecia Brooks at the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote a tribute
- Black Lives Matter wrote a tribute, including for Revered Dr. Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian

TRAININGS AND ACTIONS:
- EmbraceRace is hosting a two-part “Conversation about Raising Multiracial Kids” (July 23 and July 28)
- Arlington Democrats are hosting a “Town Hall: Criminal Justice Reform in Special Legislative SessionTONIGHT from 7:00–8:30 pm, which will be streamed live on Facebook.
- PBS has a Virtual Professional Learning Series, which is created for teachers, but has a broad focus that is useful to anyone, particularly about “Tools for Anti-Racist Teaching” and “Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism”
- Service Never Sleeps has two upcoming Allyship Snapshot Trainings on July 31 and August 11.
- SURJ NoVa Community Hour TONIGHT from 7:00–8:00 pm
- SURJ NoVa is hosting “Collecting Our Cousins: Engaging Friends + Family in Anti-Racism” on July 26 from 7:00–9:00 pm.

LOCAL RESOURCES:
- The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) highlighted some local history in “Honoring the Proud African American Legacy on the Pike” (2/13/19)
- Lee Highway Alliance announced that it’s working with Arlington County to rename Lee Highway. (7/17/20)
- Virginia is the first state in the South to have passed the CROWN Act, which “explicitly added discrimination on the basis of natural hairstyles to the definition of race discrimination under these [civil rights] statutes.” (ACLU Virginia, 7/16/20)
- Sydney Johnson interviewed Samia Byrd, Arlington’s new Chief Race and Equity Officer (Arlington Magazine, 7/19/20)
- From SURJ NoVa, “Thanks to the sustained work of LaColectiVA and the efforts of the For Us Not Amazon coalition, Arlington County PD is no longer seeking a partnership with Amazon Ring!” There’s a map you can check to see if your local police are partnering with Amazon Ring.

GENERAL RESOURCES:
- Karen Grigsby Bates “What’s In A ‘Karen’?” (NPR, 7/15/20)
- Fredrick C. Harris writes about “The Rise of Respectability Politics” (Dissent Magazine, winter 2014), which I would like to pair with Whitney Alese’s “7 Reasons Why Respectability Politics are BS” (Medium 7/6/18)
- The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley has some really interesting resources and conversations to peruse.
- The Meyer Foundation has a Racial Equity Toolkit with lots of resources, including white culture, equity lens in action, hiring and employment practices, and anti-racism.
- Destiny Thomas writes that “‘Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives” (Bloomberg CityLab, 6/8/20)
- Darnell Grisby writes “To Fight Racism, Transit Has a Key Role” (Bloomberg CityLab, 7/20/20)
- Daniel Bergner writes “‘White Fragility’ Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?” (New York Times, 7/15/20)
- Shawn Donnan writes “Black Neighborhoods Miss Out on Stimulus and Fall Further Behind” (Bloomberg CityLab, 7/15/20)
- Robert Samuels writes “Stumbling towards wokeness” (Washington Post, 7/15/20)
- The Washington Post published “Resources to understand America’s long history of injustice and inequality” (7/14/20)

INDIGENOUS RIGHTS:
- The Lakota People’s Law Project, among others, has been fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for years (remember Standing Rock? It’s still going on.), and while they had a ruling in their favor earlier this month, the oil company continues to fight back.

If you’re interested in learning more about indigenous rights, here are some resources:
- Cultural Survival “envisions a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.”
- The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).
- Indigenous Peoples Movement
- Indian Law Resource Center and “The American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

HOUSING:
- The Alliance for Housing Solutions has a recent Eviction Update (7/16/20). They also advocate for missing middle housing and coordinate the AHS Missing Middle Network, which you can apply to join here.
- Arlington For Everyone has a recent interview with Stephen D’Alessio about his experience volunteering with Arlington Community Corps. (7/10/20)
- Arlington County released the third research bulletin in its Missing Middle Housing Study
- Margaret Barthel writes “Northern Virginia Clergy Urge Northam To Put Pause On Evictions” (DCist, 7/18/20)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND POLICING:
- I want to highlight our local organization, Arlington for Justice, which is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.
- Arlington Launches Review of Police Policies and Practices and the resulting Police Practices Work Group includes wonderful representatives of our community! This will be a group to watch. (7/16/20)
- David Hughes writes “I’m a Black Police Officer. Here’s How to Change the System.” (New York Times, 7/16/20)

EDUCATION:
- Symone Walker writes “We Need to Address Redlining in Education” (Arlington Magazine, 7/16/20)
- Michael A. DiNapoli Jr. writes about “Making School Budgets Whole and Equitable During and After COVID-19” (Learning Policy Institute, 7/17/20)
- Cory Turner shares his concerns about “A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools” (NPR, 5/26/20)
- For your awareness, “Devos Sued by Public School Parents, NAACP, and School Districts to Block Illegal Rule that Diverts Critical COVID-19 Aid from Public Schools to Private Schools” (SPLC, 7/22/20)
- Laura Meckler and Hannah Natanson write “For the parents who can afford it, a solution for fall: Bring the teachers to them.” (Washington Post, 7/17/20)

I’m currently reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo — I’d love to discuss it with you!

Emily
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Mom, Activist, Community Organizer