Black Americans are active in all walks of life, all over the world, including here in the UK. We serve our country overseas, we are corporate and NGO leaders and employees, we are academics, government representatives, entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and families. African American expats have a long and well-established footprint of leadership and excellence. We make invaluable contributions to Democrats Abroad UK, Democrats Abroad, the Democratic Party, and society at large.
Our humanity matters, our lives matter, our rights matter, our votes matter.
~ Chair, Adrienne Johnson ~
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We INVITE all DAUK members to join.
We work in concert with and support the efforts of Democrats Abroad’s Global Black Caucus, the DAUK- and DA Executive Committees to:
ADVOCATE for legislation and programs that address the unique issues of African Americans and the community of overseas Black American citizens and our home communities to ensure that our wellbeing is prioritized in all aspects of life
COLLABORATE with DAUK caucuses and committees, and the Global Black Caucus to highlight points of intersection between respective communities and interest groups.
FACILITATE discussion to increase awareness about the role all Americans play in resolving long-standing human, civic, social, and racial justice issues.
HIGHLIGHT the contributions made by Black Americans to the economic standing of the U.S., our impact in the Democratic Party, and the critical role of the Black vote in winning seats at local, state, and federal levels.
ORGANIZE events that reflect and support these goals, increase membership, and inspire Black Americans and allies to volunteer with DAUK. TOGETHER we can change the world!
And most importantly – our mission is to PROTECT and turn out the VOTE!
NEWS & EVENTS
Advancement Starts with the Right to Vote
Don’t get distracted!
I don’t know about you but I am tired of hearing pundits talk about who is running in 2024.
We are the firewall against attempts to weaken and take away our hard-fought rights.
On this 57th anniversary of the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, let’s focus on what is most important in 2022. Why? Because when we VOTE things change for the better. For everyone.
What is motivating you to vote in the November 8th Midterm elections?
- Votingt Rights
- Democracy / Representative Government
- Equal Justice / Criminal Justice Reform
- Reproductive Rights / Affordable Health Care
- Common Sense Gun Laws
- Climate Change / Environmental Justice
- Women’s Rights
- Marriage Equality
- LGBTIQ+ Rights
- Fair Taxation
- Student Loan Forgiveness
- Separation of church and state
- All of the above
Let there be no doubt – defending and expanding our Senate and House majorities are crucial to achieving these goals. Crucial to protecting those we love. It is our responsibility. We are the ones who will bend the arc of our moral universe towards justice. And as Cornel West says, ‘Justice is what love looks like in public’.
Please always exercise your right to vote.
For the second time in American history, Juneteenth will be celebrated as a federal holiday. While we commemorate this year’s Freedom Day with family, friends, food, singing, and dancing, we must also remember that there are some who would prefer that the word slavery never be spoken. Nor do they want the legacy of the enslavement of Black people in our country to be accurately explained and studied. We are living in a time when students would be denied the opportunity to even learn about the meaning of this holiday.
So now is a good time to ask what we as individuals can do to advance the cause of freedom at a time when democracy itself is under threat. One thing you can do is trust and respect the voices of those who still walk in fear for their lives because of the color of their skin. Reflect on the resilience of the formerly enslaved and their ancestors, acknowledge the fact that Black Americans have always and continue to play an integral role in America’s prosperity without enjoying the full benefits, and ACT – take concrete steps to overcome all forms of systemic racism, including ongoing attempts to retain power by minority rule. Most importantly, work with us to ensure legislation is passed that creates a truly equitable society where one day we all know how it feels to be free. The most effective way to achieve that is to VOTE!
Katanji Brown Jackson Triumphs: And We Are Joyful
The nomination is confirmed.
We congratulate Judge Katanji Brown Jackson as she secures her place as the first Black woman to become an associate justice on the highest court in the land. As he announced the impending vote, Sen. Chuck Shumer spoke of Thursday being a “joyous day for the senate, joyous for the Supreme Court, joyous for America.”
It is a particularly joyous day for Black Americans, who have waited too long to see a legitimate successor to Thurgood Marshall be seated on the bench. Senator Cory Booker depicted the motives, tone, and conduct of his Republican colleagues with searing accuracy. He gave voice to the emotions, indeed triggers, that so many of us experienced throughout a dispiriting, often ugly, Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Booker had her back when an extra-sized dose of resolve was needed. Republican committee members displayed perceived airs of superiority yet lacked the self-awareness to grasp the impact of their discourteous browbeating of Judge Jackson in front of her daughters, husband, parents, and other supporters. So today we rejoice with her, for her, and for our ancestors who have also excelled and persevered in the face of discrimination and adversity.
Our joy far outshines all the misplaced grievances hurled at the most qualified Supreme Court nominee in history. President Biden gets his wish of bipartisan support, despite Republicans’ dog-whistle, political pandering to discredit Judge Jackson in an attempt to paint her as a dishonest, extremist who is soft on crime. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While her presence may not change the way the court currently leans, Katanji Brown Jackson’s experience, skill, and demeanor add legitimacy to the court, give hope to the weary who passed torches to her generation, and inspire the young who have bright futures ahead of them. They have the right to aspire to greatness, be judged by the content of their character, accomplishments, and qualifications, and to carry on the tradition of lifting as we climb. We persevere. We rise.
Black History Month 2022
“You are required to be an ACTIVE citizen. You have to choose how to engage. We can’t afford to leave any power on the table.”
– Sherrilyn Ifill –
Our power is our voice. It always has been. Love propels us forward.
The sacrifices that Black people have made for our people, and in turn, this country have made a significant difference in the lives of millions of Americans. Consider how many of us would not enjoy the lives we lead had they not raised their voices, had their bodies not been brutalized while enslaved, had they not fought for their, for our, constitutional rights. Freedom has not yet been won. Democracy is not self-executing.
The work that we must now do is the same as it has been for centuries. We must open hearts by telling our stories. We must be present in spaces that we were previously denied access to. We must prepare the next generation to protect themselves from ever-present threats to their wellbeing, recognition of their humanity, experiences, and successes, and we must protect our constitutional rights as citizens of the United States.
Breaking Barriers – Pushing Back to Push Through
”All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1
It is 2022. Why is it so difficult to agree that chattel slavery was an unjust and immoral practice that served as an integral component of America’s ongoing prosperity? Can we agree that the purpose of the 14th amendment is to provide equal protection under the law to the formerly enslaved, and in turn their descendants? And can we agree that, whether born in the U.S. or naturalized, almost every U.S. citizen alive today has benefited from the efforts of determined and inspired Black Americans who, since the founding of the country, continue to lead challenged existiences due to the unrealized words of the Founders?
As Sherrilyn Ifill, outgoing President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says, “a very small group of people transformed the direction of the country in the 20th century.” Make no mistake. We must do that again, and again, and again, for this is what upholding democracy asks of us. It is about making personal decisions, taking personal action, and even making personal sacrifices. That’s what has gotten us this far.
Reconstruction only lasted twelve years. The aspiration to form an equitable, multi-cultural society remains elusive. Only we can change that.
It is both shameful and harmful that we find ourselves in a 21st century America where voter suppression is once again rife, where the lives and livelihoods of Black Americans remain under threat due to systemic racism, where power structures that uphold white supremacist attitudes prevail, and that increasing fear of having an honest and complete evaluation of American history is leading to dismissive, regressive, and harmful laws and education policies that shut down conversations and perpetuate a false historical narrative that fails to serve any of us well.
Black scholars, writers, and activists have addressed these very issues since our feet first touched the shores of the nation. We persist because we must. We push to propel us forward.
Black Health and Wellness Matters
Voting Rights – This is a Consequential Moment
Democrats have a lot to deliver on between now and the midterms. Paramount is protecting our democracy by protecting our constitutional right to vote and enforcing the 14th and 15th amendments. In addition to Black and Brown communities, students, the poor, and the elderly will continue to be targeted by Republican-led state legislatures’ anti-voting and “voter integrity” laws that already are predicted to make it far more difficult to vote for as many as 55 million, or 1 in 6 U.S. citizens.
Over the weekend of the 14th – 17th of January, civil rights and grassroots activists across the country will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with action instead of celebrating. This is a consequential moment in history. Congress must debate and vote on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. President Biden has now called for rules changes to the filibuster. It is time to put an end to the weaponization of the filibuster by those who are determined to hang on to power, to live in the past. We call on every Senate Democrat to commit to protecting the sacred right to vote. In the face of partisan grandstanding, as we’ve never seen before, we call on every Democratic senator to vote in favor of progress, vote to let the will of the majority of the American people be delivered.
Stand with us. Tell Congress to deliver for the people.
We Need Climate Justice Now – Here’s Why
People of color globally and in the US are facing the most dire consequences of the climate crisis right now. Due to global warming, our communities are already facing floods, the effects of extreme heat, and debilitating health conditions due to the pervasive toxins we breathe in our neighborhoods.
Did you know:
- Black people are three times more likely to die due to particulate matter exposure than the overall population. 1
- Approximately 13.4% of African American children suffer from asthma compared to only 7.3% of white children. 2
- After flood, drought and fire events, efforts to finance and rebuild low income and communities of color are often inadequate compared to the rebuilding of higher-income white communities, as evidenced in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.3
- People of color and low income are more likely to live in fenceline communities (those living around highly hazardous facilities) where there is a constant threat of catastrophic chemical releases and a higher risk of cancer from toxic air pollution. 4
- City zoning for landfills, garbage dumping, refineries and industrial waste in poor and Black communities have lowered residents’ property values, accelerated physical deterioration, increased disinvestment, displacement and loss of generational wealth. 5
- About 30 million people, mainly those in Black and low income communities, are served by water systems that don’t meet basic safety standards, whether from lead pipes, arsenic-laced wells or outdated treatment plants. Many in those communities increasingly experience water shutoffs due to unaffordable utility rates. 6
Climate justice means that all people are guaranteed protections from the worst effects of climate change and that past and current injustices are rectified. We need investments to strengthen the resilience and liveability in low income and communities of color. Investments that redress historic injustice, inequity and directly benefit those who have been disproportionately burdened by environmental harm. The Biden administration’s Justice 40 plan, which proposes to direct 40% of climate and clean energy investments to the disadvantaged is a start. We will be advocating to make sure that the Infrastructure Bill begins to fulfill that promise. A legislative framework is also needed. We urge passage of the Environmental Justice Act of 2021, which compels all federal agencies to mitigate climate injustice and the Climate Equity Act, which holds all facets of government accountable for measurable progress on climate equity.
1 Christopher Tessum and others, “PM2.5 polluters disproportionately and systemically affect people of color in the United States,” Science Advances 7 (18) (2021)https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abf4491
2 Racial Disparity and climate change, https://psci.princeton.edu/tips/2020/8/15/racial-disparities-and-climate-change
3 Five Things to Know About communities of color and environmental justice, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2016/04/25/136361/5-things-to-know-about-communities-of-color-and-environmental-justice/
4 Racial Disparity and climate change, https://psci.princeton.edu/tips/2020/8/15/racial-disparities-and-climate-change
5 Environment and Morality, Bullard, https://www.unrisd.org/80256b3c005bccf9/(Httpauxpages)/543b2b250e64745280256b6d005788f7/$File/Bullard.Pdf
Spotlight on Environmental Justice
For decades environmental issues have been framed in a conservational context that both overlooked and excluded input from communities that historically suffered most from discriminatory political and economic practices. It is no longer a secret that inequities in planning and zoning can drive environmental injustices that lead to health disparities. At the latest, the magnitude of the problem was exposed during the pandemic, where discussion of the correlation between underlying health conditions and mortality rates became more mainstream. According to ProPublica, ” Environmental, economic and political factors have compounded for generations, putting black people at higher risk of chronic conditions that leave lungs weak and immune systems vulnerable: asthma, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes”.
We think it is important to highlight the human toll of climate change by shedding light on environmental injustice and how it plays out in communities that have long been abused, plagued and endangered and continue to have the most to lose should inaction prevail.
DAUK member Keith Magee recently wrote a thought-provoking piece for CNN on the subject. Read it here.
He rightfully concludes, “We must give the people who have the most to lose from our climate inaction — inhabitants of the global south, members of poor and vulnerable communities and young people — an unfettered platform to express their fear and frustration and to share the solutions they know are required.”
Bridge to ’22 Membership Drive
The Black Caucus, along with DAUK volunteers across the UK, devoted October to building the ‘Bridge to ’22’. After months of not seeing one another in person, it was a fantastic way to encourage newcomers to join Dems Abroad and to engage with long-time Americans abroad about upcoming elections, protecting voting rights, human rights, tax advocacy for overseas Americans, infrastructure and so much more. The Black Caucus welcomes all members to participate in our activities. Together we will build a better future for our families and communities.
The Long Shadow
The Global Black Caucus is excited to share the PBS film THE LONG SHADOW, which follows former CNN Senior Producer, TED contributor, and Emmy-Award winning Director Frances Causey as she traces her family’s legacy of white privilege, placing it in the context of the history of anti-black racism in the United States that began with slavery and continues to impact our society today.
More about The Long Shadow
The Long Shadow provides much-needed and critical background information about the institutional racist oppression and violence against African-Americans that has been perpetuated for more than 400 years.
The Long Shadow follows former CNN Senior Producer, TED contributor, and Emmy-Award winning Director Frances Causey as she traces her family’s legacy of white privilege, placing it in the context of the history of anti-black racism in the United States that began with slavery and continues to impact our society today.
Frances Causey and Producer Sally Holst passionately seek the hidden truth and the untold stories of how America—guided by the South’s powerful political influence—steadily, deliberately and at times secretly, established white privilege in our institutions, laws, culture and economy.
We encourage you to watch the documentary prior to attending the event.
You can watch the documentary for free via PBS during a 7 day period from September 26th 2021 – October 3rd. Be sure to RSVP to join the live Q&A September 30th 2021, 1 PM ET / 6 PM in the UK with Director Frances Causey.
Remembering the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
The Global Black Caucus, Global Veterans and Military Families, and DAUK Black Caucuses co-sponsored an observance of the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Participants were asked to dig deep into their own feelings as we provided facts and historical context about the devastating events of 31st May – 01 June 1921. It was a very informative and moving afternoon. If you were not able to join us for the live event, watch the recording here. Looking to deepen your understanding of what occurred and the subsequent repercussions? Check out these extensive reference materials.
Call Your Senator Now!
With every passing day, the number of states advancing restrictive voting laws increases. National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day is on May 8th. It will be an exciting day filled with activities by 100s of organizations across the U.S. to raise awareness and amplify support of the For the People Act (S.1) and other transformative voting rights legislation. The DAUK Black Caucus invites DAUK members and concerned American voters in the UK to take part in our call to action from May 8th to 11th 2021 in support of the National John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Action Day. Sign up at [email protected]
Statement: Black History Month 2021
Black history is American history. We have the vision and dedication of Carter G. Woodson to thank for the annual U.S. celebration of Black History. It began in 1926 as Black History Week. Fifty years later, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History – ASALH – carries founder Woodson’s legacy forward by choosing a theme to highlight each year. This year, the focus is on The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.
We honor the strength and resilience of our ancestors, who made great contributions while sacrificing so much for our country. Those who, despite systemically imposed discrimination, have repeatedly demonstrated an understanding of inclusion, family, community, and country, We celebrate activists who continue this essential work.
Taking an integrated approach across all government agencies, the Biden administration seeks to acknowledge and address past harm done to Black families, placing racial justice and equity at the center of its domestic policy agenda. This demonstrates the administration’s commitment to the unifying principle of creating an even playing field for all Americans. Of lifting the entire nation’s fortunes by passing legislation that places resources where they are most needed. This starts with securing the well-being of families.
Amanda Gorman inspired us with her visionary poem, The Hill We Climb. “We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.”
We can best honor those who came before us, ourselves, and our children by doing all we can to help rid the nation of the disease of racism. There is no other way to build a nation that allows our families to take a full and equitable part in American society. We must face the past to build a better future. Let us embrace the hope expressed by Amanda Gorman and accept the challenge voiced by the newly-elected DNC Chair Jamie Harrison, and DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins. ” As we celebrate Black History Month, let us also rededicate ourselves to the cause of justice and equality for all.” You can read the full statement here.
No Excuses. Vote.
We’re screening John Lewis: Good Trouble on the 29th of October at 6:30. Black Americans have fought and died for the right to exercise our vote. Our goal has been and continues to be about improving the quality of our lives. claiming our full agency as American citizens, to have access to quality education, fair protection under the law, to no longer be subject to discriminatory or predatory banking practices, to have the choice to live in a safe environment, live wherever we want, to accumulate wealth, and to have our contributions fully recognized. In doing so, we’ve understood that our efforts ultimately improve life for all Americans. The vote is sacred. It is a necessary tool used in the fight for social justice. This commitment has been instilled in so many of our families, including DAUK member Carol Madison Graham’s family. There’s no excuse not to vote. Carol explains, “My mother has been involved in politics all my life including as an elected official. I stood at the polls with campaign material every Election Day from primary school adding other tasks as I got older. Working on democratic campaigns is just what our family did. At the time the local party was happy to support black men but not a woman so when they informed her (as an incumbent) that a man had been selected for the Democratic ticket my mother ran against him as an independent and won. Her mantra was ’no permanent allies, no permanent adversaries – just permanent goals.’”
Read here about the 300-mile journey taken recently by Mildred Madison, Carol’s 94-year-old mother, to cast her ballot. Mrs. Madison has advice for us about voting. She says, “It’s not just for the president but start voting locally, statewide, county wide and also on the federal level. They all count because the power really starts right there in your community.” Wise words. Vice President Biden and Oprah were inspired by Ms. Mildred too!
Have you voted? It’s crunch time and we must turn out the vote like never before! On Thursday night, the current occupant of the White House claimed he was the best president Black Americans have ever had, after Abraham Lincoln. He clearly isn’t listening to us. We know there couldn’t be anything farther from the truth. That’s why we must make it absolutely clear that Black Americans do not accept or tolerate harm being done to our community. Black women are at the forefront of driving voters to the polls. We represent a critical voting bloc. We change the world when we VOTE! And we certainly don’t take kindly to being called names.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee of the 13th District of California, champion of a progressive agenda and a key leader in the Democratic Party has a message for overseas voters. She emphasizes what is at stake in this election, especially for communities of color. The deadline to register to vote in California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming, is on the 19th of October. Act now! We’re voting to save the soul of the nation.
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) recorded this message for Democrats Abroad and the Black Caucus. A former American expat herself, she wants us to ensure our voices are heard. Let’s take her advice and get to work. VOTE! Our lives depend on it.
Getting out the vote
November is now for overseas voters and Black Caucus members have been assisting with DAUK’s get out the vote efforts in the lead up to the General Election. Thanks to all who lent their artistic skills to our postcarding. All said it was a good way to calm the nerves during this time of heightened anticipation while waiting for Election Day. Others found it to be a family-friendly activity that reinforced civic-mindedness that we all can embrace. We chose Florida and hope overseas absentee ballots will make the difference in winning back the White House.
Joe Biden made a historic, bold and visionary move with this VP pick. A trailblazer, Sen. Harris brings a wealth of professional and lived experience to the ticket. In so many ways, her life is representative of the experiences of Black and brown women across the nation. HBCU grads and members of Divine 9 historically Black Greek letter organizations alike know how well she’s been prepared for this moment.
She’s ready. We’ve got to be too. Let’s get behind this ticket. Our eyes are on the prize. Let’s get this done!
Statement on the Passing of Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian
On the 19th of July 2020, we lost two giant, American civil rights leaders.
We are profoundly grateful for the life’s work of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rev. C.T. Vivian. Though saddened by their passing, we are thankful for the sacrifices made and the gifts they have given to so many Americans. Bother were advocates of non-violence and worked alongside Martin Luther King for the cause of racial justice and voting rights, risking their lives so that we can all someday be free.
We’re still working on that. The torch has been passed. It’s up to us to ensure their vision, our vision for a just and equitable America is realized. Make sure you and everyone in your networks VOTE. When you witness or become aware of injustice, speak up.
“Do what you can do and do it well. But always ask your question: Is it serving the people?”
– Rev. C.T. Vivian –
“Our minds, souls, and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all the people.”
– Rep. John Lewis –
Rest well beloved warriors. Job well done.
Juneteenth Commemoration – 18th June 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Join the Black Caucus as we commemorate and reflect on the meaning and symbolism of Juneteenth, also known interchangeably as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day.
June 2021 also marks the 100th year observation of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a critical example of violence and economic injustice towards a Black American community that has resonance today. Has the promise of freedom for the formerly enslaved and their descendants been fulfilled? We will examine past and current events to highlight the impact on Black American’s well-being and prosperity continue to be influenced by attitudes, policy, and practices. We will also explore what opportunities and actions should be pursued to move us toward a just, equitable, and inclusive society.
Please RSVP to [email protected] for the Zoom link.
We had a stimulating meeting in April and invite you to join us on Thursday, May 6th, 2021 from 7:00 – 8:30pm to continue the conversation. We’ll be refining our political agenda, establishing a program, and deciding on the best methods for communicating to DAUK members, the issues that matter most to Black American voters at home and around the world. All are welcome!
Black History Month Discussion
The Hill We Climb – What the Future Holds
The world watched transfixed by the awe-inspiring poet Amanda Gorman, as she recited the groundbreaking poem, The Hill We Climb on Inauguration Day.
Join the DAUK Black Caucus on Tuesday, February 16 at 6:30 pm for a Black History Month celebration as we discuss this powerful call to action, hope, and unity and what “forging a union with purpose” means for Black Americans and for the future of the country. This is a Zoom meeting. Everyone is welcome. Please RSVP via Eventbrite to receive joining details.
DAUK Film Night – John Lewis: Good Trouble – In these troubling times, the passing of our beloved torchbearer, the brave and faithful warrior Congressman John Lewis has left us feeling reflective and inspired by his legacy of service. Who will fill the void he leaves behind? What action will it take beyond Election Day to bring his project to fruition? Who among us will make an ongoing commitment to making “good trouble”?
The Black Caucus and Film Committee invite DAUK members to an exclusive screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble, a timely and illuminating portrait of this Civil Rights icon with essential messages about the power of voting. This powerful documentary draws upon archival footage going back many decades to recall the pivotal events in a lifetime of activism, alongside recent interviews with John Lewis, his family and many of his colleagues. Join us afterwards for a separate Q and A and discussion on Zoom. Please note: due to license restrictions, access to the film is only available to those in the UK at the time of the screening. Tickets are free but donations to cover costs are appreciated. Please RSVP https://dauk-film-good-trouble.eventbrite.co.uk
DAUK Black Caucus Post-Convention Speakeasy – The contrast between Democrat’s and Republican’s vision for the future of America could not have been presented in more stark terms over the last few weeks. We invite you to join us for a post-conventions debrief on September 16th, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. All members are welcome! RSVP today –
We’ll discuss your impressions and reactions to the respective conventions, discuss current events that particularly impact Black Americans, yet all Americans, and strategize about how to get the Biden-Harris ticket over the required 270 Electoral College votes. Let’s talk!
DAUK Black Caucus Pre-Convention Speakeasy – Who could have known that Joe Biden would pick Kamala Harris to be his running mate on the eve of our Pre-Convention Speakeasy? That topic alone provided fertile ground for discussion. Even if you weren’t able to join us, we invite you to reflect on the topics discussed.
Election Day is 81 days away. The prize is in sight and achievable with 270 Electoral College votes. As constituents, we must do everything possible to send a resounding mandate for change to our local and federal representatives back home. John Lewis challenged us to keep finding a means of getting in the way, keep your eyes on the prize and make good trouble. It is now OUR time to carry the torch he’s passed on.
With that in mind, Question 1 to attendees was what they think we as individuals have to do to further Rep. Lewis’ work and legacy of striving for racial and social justice? What concrete personal action will it take to move the country forward?
Question 2 dealt with the issue of how we choose our elected officials. We often tend to focus on the personalities of candidates as opposed to policy. With that in mind, what policy issues are you passionate about and think should be prioritized in this campaign and beyond? What will it take to elect and sustain a Congress that reflects our concerns and works in our interests?
Question 3 – When we speak of a diverse slate of candidates, what comes to mind? What does the term diverse mean to you? Is it race-, gender, class, or diversity of thought, based on lived experience that guides your decision-making? What do those qualities bring to the political landscape? For example, what are your thoughts about the recent wins by progressive women of color in the primaries? And finally, id you have a preference for Biden’s VP pick? What do you think Kamala Harris brings to the ticket?
Thanks for participating in the conversation. Let’s keep lines of communication like this open. Talk with friends and family. And finally, do all you can to engage and mobilize people in your networks so they are ready to VOTE! Request your absentee ballot now.
The Democratic National Convention runs from Monday, the 17th through to the 20th of August. All are welcome! Sign up to participate.
Juneteenth Discussion: Racism is a Public Health Risk. Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th and also known as Freedom Day, is the day African Americans commemorate emancipation from slavery in the U.S. Many Americans have never, or only recently, heard of Juneteenth. We didn’t learn about it in school. Similarly, many have been unaware of the threat of aggression and violence that Black Americans face on a day-to-day basis. George Floyd’s death has raised awareness about racial injustice and led activists around the world to hit the streets in protest.
We presented a Juneteenth panel discussion that looked at our understanding of freedom in the context of the history of policing, riots, and looting in America, the impact this has had on Black communities. We then considered the strategies for police reform that are now on the table, discussed racism as a health risk, the psychological impact of trauma, and ended with guided meditation and self-care advice. Featured speakers were: Anne Pollock, King’s College Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, and Maile O’Hara B.A.S., M.Ed, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Juneteenth – https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/historical-legacy-juneteenth
On Juneteenth and Race in America – http://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live-race-in-america-lonnie-bunch-juneteenth/
Tulsa Massacre – https://cbsn.ws/37GSNgD
Policing and Racism – Dr. Keisha Blain (NPR interview): http://www.npr.org/2020/06/13/876628302/the-history-of-policing-and-race-in-the-u-s-are-deeply-intertwined
LBJ’s War on Crime – https://time.com/3746059/war-on-crime-history/
Militarization – http://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/police-militarization-fails-to-protect-officers-and-targets-black-communities-study-finds
Defunding the Police (Face the Nation, June 2020) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCXllam7HNQ
Kamala Harris on police reform – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OWiRuJgtVE
Ruha Benjamin – https://aas.princeton.edu/news/black-skin-white-masks-racism-vulnerability-refuting-black-pathology
Trauma – https://onbeing.org/programs/resmaa-menakem-notice-the-rage-notice-the-silence/
Allies – http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/06/how-white-women-can-be-better-black-lives-matter-allies
White Fragility – http://www.npr.org/2020/06/17/879136931/interrupt-the-systems-robin-diangelo-on-white-fragility-and-anti-racism