“Overcoming Obstacles to Create Community” is an initiative of the Women’s Voices’ Racial Justice Committee. Each month, we’ll provide timely, concrete ideas and suggestions you can include in your daily lives.
June – Support Victims
Look for ways, either as individuals or as part of a group, that you might be able to support victims of systemic racism or individual acts of racism. For example, several local women stepped in to help a St. Louis woman who was going to be charged with child endangerment. She almost lost her two children in a fire because she had no alternative but to leave them alone to go to work. The women helped her find the resources she needed to be sure she would not be forced to put her children in danger again.
- Support victims by helping repair vandalism caused by hate groups. For example, volunteers helped clean up glass from windows broken by violent agitators in the University City Loop
- If you, or someone you know, is targeted, report those incidents of racism in order to stop and prevent future harassment. For help, visit the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
- Victims of hate crimes often feel terribly alone and afraid. Those who have suffered violence at the hands of police are especially vulnerable. They need a strong, timely message that they are valued…a phone call or letter can help.
- Hold companies and organizations accountable for racist behavior. Many stories are documented and shared on social media. When you see such a post, call the company or organization and let them know that this behavior is not acceptable. Then share your action on your own social media account and encourage others to speak out.
- Think about reparations. Reparations doesn’t just mean money; it means being accountable for past damages and harm. Is there a way that you can share your time, skills, knowledge or connections with an individual or a group that has been harmed by hate?
- Listen to people of color. Read books and articles they have written. Follow some notable Black people on Facebook or Twitter and learn from them.
- Are there Black children or teenagers in your life? If so, consider a contribution to their college savings plan. Also, you can support an HBCU—-historically Black college or university. In St. Louis, Harris-Stowe State University is an HBCU. You could attend an event there or contribute to a scholarship fund.
- Donate to groups that are working to put women of color into elected office. Campaign and vote for these women.
- Put your money where your mouth is. If you have investments, review them to be sure that you are not supporting companies or organizations that victimize people of color.
- Work to end the system of cash bail, which criminalizes poverty