As people across the land struggle to find ways to be in solidarity with the resistance being offered to the pipeline, the Standing Rock community has put together some basic information sheets to help. Please read these before undertaking any kind of solidarity with the community there. Listen and learn! There is information to consider before you go, information about how to join in camp culture, information about Lakota values, and information about what to do when you return home. We are very grateful that these thoughtful materials are being shared, and urge people to pass them along.
We love how twitter is making it possible to crowd source resources for learning. One such is the “#StandingRockSyllabus project, for which you can also find a current summary.
I am also here to tell you that when you give up the lies of white supremacy, when you turn yourself against the resistance that is inside you, you open towards the interconnected liberation to which our humanity owes itself. I truly believe that when we find the place of our own-most stake in black lives mattering, we open towards an experience of love. The love and community and care and possibility I have experienced as part of a resistance movement towards justice is like nothing I can describe. It means knowing that there are people to catch you when you fall, and it means knowing that there are people there to love you when we win. It is something different than the intimacy of family or the individual history of friends. It is the connectedness that binds us to one another, and it is sweet beyond measure. Wherever you are in this journey, I hope you will find a way to give it a try. Let go just a little but. Worry just a little less. Trust the amazing black leaders who are shaping this movement more. And I promise, if we can do this, if we can keep trying together, we will find ourselves somewhere new.
There are all sorts of resources out there for talking with kids about race. White families, in particular, need to be more intentional. Here are some great curated collections from which to draw:
FemTechNet is a group of scholars who focus on feminist engagement with and learning about technologies. They have begun a resource project which seeks to create a workbook of resources and syllabi to support critical race and ethnic studies pedagogy. The project is extensive, being built with the support of their graduate students, and a highly original and interesting attempt. Check it out!
There is so much flying around the net these days on race and the US that it’s hard to keep track! That’s a good thing. But the reality is that it’s helpful to have curated collections of pieces. Here’s a great collection curated by Kari Cobham. I imagine it would be an excellent place to start for a congregation seeking to learn.
Hank and John Green together form the “Vlog Brothers” — two white brothers who regularly post short videos on a number of different themes via YouTube. John is also an award-winning and very popular author of YA fiction (think Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Fault in Our Stars), and Hank is the creator of Crash Course videos, as well as a whole host of other popular resources. They have pulled together a very helpful list of videos on racism and race, and are urging people to LISTEN carefully.
Dr. Emilie Townes offers a compelling reflection this week on what it means that we continue to bear witness to injustice, without ever finding justice.