Throughout Oregon, the United States, and all over the world there have been massive protests, rallies, and demonstrations sparked by the insidious murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and a myriad of other unarmed African Americans by law enforcement and for the centuries of violence and oppression perpetrated against Black people in this country.
We at WACAI believe in and affirm that all Black Lives Matter and that there is much work that needs to be done to dismantle systematic racism, social oppression, and white supremacy which is at the heart of these issues. We also acknowledge that we ourselves are still learning about how to do our part in the fight for racial justice and how to incorporate anti-racism in our organization’s programs. We also know that many of you are wanting to do something to amplify the voices of the Black community and help further the cause for racial equity, but may not know exactly how to go about doing this. Without a sustained collective effort and community engagement, starting locally, change will not occur, so it is important to do something!
One of the questions that I heard a guest speaker on NPR’s the “Take Away” say that helped center my desire to take more action was “Given who you are, what can you do?” We are still in the middle of a pandemic, for example, so not everyone is able to be out there on the front lines, protesting in the streets, but there are other actions and contributions that can be done to help turn the tide of racism, like educating oneself, speaking out, donating money, and supporting black businesses to name a few.
Below we have compiled some resources that we invite you to check out as a starting point since this is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of these resources include people from the local Black community that attend our classes and programs or who have partnered with WACAI over the years. They are out there working hard for a better, more just future and we need to show them our support and respect so that the slogan Black Lives Matter can be more than just a hashtag!
COURSES UO Department of Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies ES 250 Introduction to African-American Studies ES 330 Women of Color Feminisms ES 356 Race and Social Movements ES 310 Race and Sex in Hip-Hop ES 399 Black Sexual Politics ES 440/540 Black and Brown Power
PODCATS Code Switch Black Girl from Eugene It’s Been a Minute
BOOKS How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo