Our hearts are heavy, as we mourn and attempt to process the lives we've recently lost, who were taken from their families and communities too soon, unjustly and unfairly. As we sit and reflect on the recent tragedies, we understand and acknowledge that this racial and systematic injustice has been pervasive and long standing and that the result has been countless loss of lives for so many black and brown people. The Mercer Council family is committed to continuing to seek education, resources and learn about the challenges and barriers that communities of color face and the ways in which systems have been constructed to favor some and disregard others. We vow not only to do our absolute best not to contribute to or continue to foster or perpetuate these systems, but to be a part of solutions that will end the racism in these systems. It is our duty and responsibility to consider and combat these systemic injustices, not only after tragic and traumatic incidences, but every day, in every way.
Some steps for advocating for anti-racism and being an effective ally include:
1. Donating to causes that support critical review of systemic racism and find solutions to impact and improve these systems in a just and equitable way.
2. Sign petitions requesting that action be taken to hold people accountable for racist behavior and actions.
3. Educate yourself and others about racism, anti-racism, privilege, non-performative/non-optical ally-ship.
4. Check in with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) as this time may be specifically traumatic, but navigating unjust systems and facing racism on a day to day basis is also traumatic for this community.
5. Be prepared to do the work! Educating yourself is not enough! Plan to take action when and where you can. Understand that learning about privilege and racism can be uncomfortable and can bring up emotions such as guilt, shame and anger.
6. Read anti-racist publications. (resources below)
7. Avoid sharing content that is traumatic/triggering.
8. Keep supporting after the public outrage minimizes!
9. Do not make ally-ship about you.
10. Disconnect from organizations that have promoted hate or have perpetuated racial injustice.
11. Develop a long term strategy of what ally-ship looks like for you now and in the future.
12. Support BIPOC owned businesses.
We ALL share a responsibility in ending racism.
We say their names! #BreyonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery #GeorgeFloyd #TonyMcDade #DavidMcAtee
Please see below for a list of resources:
Anti-racist Reading Materials -