I write today about the horrific deaths of Black people at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve. Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are but the latest victims of systemic racist violence. Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York City and other U.S. cities are but the latest to experience demonstrations by citizens who have been dismissed and silenced, nevertheless, are actively engaged in pushing back against oppressive systems.
At Feminist Women’s Health Center we are in solidarity with those rising up across the country #InDefenseOfBlackLife. At the center of our work is our beloved aboriton clinic that many of you have protected and invested in for years or even decades. We’ve proudly continued serving our patients in the face of this unprecedented pandemic. Our doors are still open today. But we are also taking time to show our solidarity. It is not enough to share the grief, alarm and terror. It is not enough to read and watch what our political, community, and thought leaders think about these events. It is not enough to send thoughts and prayers.
A recent USA today article describes racial violence as ‘repetitive trauma,’ referring to the psychic harm every Black American experiences as we watch the murder of George Floyd and other victims of police violence broadcast live. We have heard from our community members about their emotional exhaustion and constant worry about their friends and family members who are Black. Some of us have been carrying this work for a long time and some of us are newly activated in this unique moment in our country and world. The Feminist Center family is committed to providing a platform for more conversation, learning, and action. Please join us, we need you. Here are some immediate actions you can take:
Connect as a community: We recently organized a People’s Health Forum to discuss racism and COVID 19 as health crises that disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. Watch the highlights here and follow us for more such events.
Educate ourselves and others: Let’s change the course of our country. It is important to learn more about history, and to learn not just about what happened, but how it happened. Consider the books and postings and trainings from authors and advocates we’ve learned from: Civil rights activist Angela Davis and her book Freedom is a Constant Struggle; Dr. Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing; Internalized Whiteness and the US Southeast and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.
Act: Join the Movement for Black Lives, and organizers mobilizing around the country for a week of action June 1st through June 5th – an opportunity to uplift and fight alongside those in the streets and on the airwaves. Support local campaigns such as #CloseTheJailATL to move funding from petty punishment to equity and community wellness. Contribute to your local bail fund supporting those arrested demanding justice.
PS. As a parent of a Black child myself, I must ask–Is there reproductive freedom without the dismantling of systemic racism, white supremacy and police brutality? Join me in defining a broad vision for Georgia and America where Black people, and our children can freely live.