Wow. It’s been a tough few weeks. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Sheila Lucas. Christian Cooper. George Floyd. And all of the Covid19 deaths in the under- and un-served communities across the US, including one death that I know of in Asheville’s African American community: he was sent home untreated from Mission ER because he didn’t have insurance, and died the next day.
We’re all getting a good look at white supremacy culture, including here in Asheville, and many of us are filled with anger, rage and grief. (We ALL should be filled with anger, rage and grief, imho.) I hope you’re paying attention, and taking action to stop inequity and injustice.
Here’s a list of movies, books, and podcasts on racial equity from Tasha of Be the Bridge, complied on this google doc; feel free to share the link with other Racial Equity activists. https://docs.google.com/
document/d/ 14jQghvU3LeCcQ9pTST1mHzZ6qEYGb 4P2Upog18eVpu4/edit?usp= sharing
Please join the Be the Bridge Facebook group as there’s more resources there.
Here are some other things you can do.
- Have conversations with White friends and relatives. White Nationalism is rising at alarming rates. There are the overt racists and there are other vulnerable white folks who are being pulled into the White Nationalism/White Supremacist movement, sometimes unknowingly. The COVID-19 outbreak and response gives us new material to forge conversations with people who think differently than us. We can ask questions and talk about community well-being right now in ways that it couldn’t before. This allows us to avoid politics and trying to wake folks up about racism directly, but indirectly we can ask questions about the pandemic situation. You can ask: What are you seeing in how your community is responding? Who is being supported? Who isn’t being supported? Which communities are being most impacted? Why? What do you think about how masks have become a political symbol or how they are being politicized?
- The Racial Justice Coalition has a new Advocacy Team that will work on campaigns to enact antiracist policy change in our city. Our first campaign will be to get the city to authorize over $600,000 in federal grant money for rent assistance. Being a member of this team will mean making these advocacy calls yourself, and also recruiting other people to make them. Will you join us? Sign up here: https://forms.gle/
- CIMA (Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción) connects, strengthens and organizes communities to take action for immigrants’ rights in Western North Carolina, striving for inclusive communities with justice, freedom, and equality for all. They run a verifiers program, where volunteers are trained to respond to concerns in the community. Sometimes vehicles will be spotted that could be ICE agents doing surveillance. Undocumented members of the community cannot approach them to inquire who they are and what they are doing, which is where the trained verifier volunteers come in. If you’d like to learn more about this program and when they will be offering the next training, go to to this link: https://forms.gle/
- Suggestions from Caucus Participants
- Grassroots Aid Partnership: local group giving free healthy meals away to anyone who needs food. I think it’s Tues-Sunday 4-7pm 1022 Haywood Rd Asheville 28806 at the site of former Dr Dave’s automotive care
- I can verify GAP food truck, it’s vegan and delicious and will deliver.
- If you work directly with marginalized populations, feel free to reach out to me to connect folks with the MANNA Food Helpline . [email protected]. MANNA Helpline 800-820-1109.
- Bountiful Cities – long term food security solutions in Asheville and Buncombe Co. Promotes social justice and economic viability through sustainable urban agriculture support and garden and cooking education.
- Haywood Street Respite needs daily suppers for about 15 people. This supports people experiencing homelessness who are currently medically fragile and cannot be living on the streets. There is a way to sign up.