RAISING YOUTH ACTIVISTS AND YOUTH ARTISTS ACTION STEPS (REVISED) IN RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF #ALTONSTERLING and #PHILANDOCASTILE IN THE WAKE OF CONTINUED POLICE VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

I believe that the center of every Revolutionary Movement is the Youth, that when Young People rise up that is when the fire of the people is fully ignited. It is important that youth educators take the responsibility of supporting the growth into consciousness and understanding of the injustices in this world of our young people, and we must do this by first and foremost helping them to recognize their power and ability to make change. In the wake of the people’s rising in continued response to the most recent killing of one of our Black brothers and sisters- we as a people look deeply at the rampant Racial Injustice that still thrives in this country. We are in the midst of historical happenings as the people demand justice for the stolen lives of the multiple Black and Brown people, by Police all over the United States.

This is not new to the discussions we have had to have with our students. Youth Facilitators across the nation working to combat Police Brutality and Murder, Racial Injustice, and Institutional Racism continue to face our students, staff and their families addressing and holding sacred space for their feelings of pain, anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, hopelessness and the fear that begins to arise with these happening. Our goal with any action steps that we take should make sure our youth and community feel held- that they feel community around them that is ready to help them rise. It is important in these moments to allow each other to feel what we need to, to mourn, to cry, to take the time to speak and also to the silent- and then we need to urge one another to act. Action being as simple as conversation, and as impactful as teaching our young people how important it is for them to create elevation of the issues that impact them through their talents and artistry, through organizing as youth.

10847802_10100851229740770_4477791862276830824_n

The following is a toolkit compiled to help Young People process and connect to the issues at hand, and to find ways in which they can take action:

YOUTH ACTIVISTS AND YOUTH ARTISTS ACTION STEPS (REVISED) IN RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF #ALTONSTERLING AND #PHILANDOCASTILE IN THE WAKE OF CONTINUED POLICE VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

EDUCATION: 

Get Educated about the larger picture- get Informed, Research, Read, Watch, Listen and gain as many diverse perspectives as you can to learn.

**Look for other toolkits that have been made from previous happenings- the resources are abundant. Here are some:

11811285_864240143659613_7974929487176349607_n

CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR YOUTH:

  • Begin with the Yourself
    • Make sure you have a conversation to hold yourself and the adults of the space prior to holding space for the youth whether it be at home, school, community center
    • Let yourself be held. Let yourself be heard.
  • Create Common Ground
    • Create a set of guidelines with the youth you are addressing to talk about what they need in order to feel safe in a conversation around the occurrences with #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile and #BlackLivesMatter
    • Make sure that creation for clear Communication, Ownership of Experience, Listening, Respect and Compassion are included
  • Give Students the opportunity to share what they know
    • Before giving them all the facts, and your knowledge, allow the students to relay what they are on he ground and privy to- through their social media, the news, conversations at home, on the street, etc.
  • Clarify the Facts and the History
    • Allow yourself to be privy to the accounts of what happened in the incident that you are addressing
    • Be aware of the laws and history- help your students understand those laws and the history of this country as well (see education)
  • Be vulnerable to your experience,
    • Know that your students/children and community are there to hold you- give them the opportunity to humanize you. If you aren’t willing to share, there should not be an expectation for them to share
  • Do not be afraid of Silence
    • Give the students moments to be silent, they may not have been addressed this way before, or they are unsure/unaware of what is going on
  • Address the Trauma- Taking Care of Oursleves 
  • Create room for Individual Follow-Up
    • Youth may not be incline to share in a large group, but may want to be held in a more intimate space of processing- provide this for them.
    • Remind them that the conversation is continuous- that they can be affected at any moment, that it doesn’t have to be immediate.

Other Resources on Conversations with Youth about Racism and Racial Injustice:

ALLYSHIP (For Non-Black POC and White People Connecting to the Movement)

The Question posed by so many outside the Black community in solidarity has been what can I do to help. Although POC share similar struggles it is important to understand what it means to be an ally to #BlackLivesMatter. This toolkit is greatly geared toward creating clarity on how to do that, but these are great articles, toolkits and videos that are specifically geared to inform Non-Black POC and White Allies.

Non-Black POC Allies

ARTICLES

VIDEOS

White People

ARTICLES

VIDEOS

ACTIONS for ALL

SHORT ACTIONS

FOR ALTON STERLING-

FOR PHILANDO CATILE-

10418962_10100854287917160_3569768030809095469_n10262173_10100854288221550_5606010957610152363_n

MEDIUM ACTIONS:

  • 10 Minute Actions Donate to-

1) A Racial Justice Organization of Your Choice

2) GoFundMe: Alton Sterling

3) GoFundMe: #AltonSterlingFamilyScholarship

4) GoFundMe: #PhilandoCastile Funds for Family

5) GoFundMe: Lavish Reynolds & 4 y/o Daughter (Philando Castile)

  • 15 Minute- 1 Hour Action: Get your ideas out there –  On social media
    • Write an Essay/ Blog Entry
    • Record a video
    • Post a Meme
    • Create a Digital Art Piece
  • 30 minute Action: Engage people in your life: Talk about it
  • One Hour Action: Write about it
    • Write an Essay/ Blog Entry/ Article
    • Letters to the editor or online comments on Blog Entries/ Articles that have been written
    • Letters to the family of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Condolences
    • Letters to Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Department, urging law enforcement leaders to take immediate steps to investigate police conduct and avoid unnecessary force
    • Letters/ Calls pressuring your mayor and city council to address gaps in the Police Review process

1557323_694663380617291_4818775624848399654_o

LONG TERM ACTIONS:

  • One Hour+ Action: Gather a group of friends to create a Video, an Installation, or a Performance to share (Online, in the Streets, at your Organization or School)
  • One Hour+ Action: Get involved with a campaign to change policies
  • One Hour+ Action: Research and Take part in Direct Action (Rally, March, Forum) or Hold Your Own Gathering or Action
  • Ongoing Action: Support Demilitarizing the Police
  • Ongoing Action: Join a Local Youth Organization working to combat Racial Injustice

GET/STAY INFORMED
Read about and watch videos on police brutality and the struggle for justice across the nation facing police violence. Discuss them with friends, family, and organizations. Check out these links that are centered toward how police brutality effects Youth of Color all of the US:

Videos:

Articles:

 

ACTIONS:

The #BlackLivesMatter Music Movement

As a Arts for Social Justice Rights Organization we know just how powerful Art is to a movement. Below are sharings of Music that Artists have created to support the conversation for education, awareness and the connection of self to community that we seek to build with the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

MUSIC TO LISTEN TO ABOUT #BLACKLIVESMATTER:

Celebrities / Artists in Resistance and Action:

 How Youth Have Taken Action:

  • El Puente- Leaders for Peace and Justice, Brooklyn, NY “#HandsUp, My Skin Color is Not a Crime” Campaign Ongoing Photo Campaign
  • Student Protesters on the front lines in Ferguson chant the powerful words of Assata Shakur in front of the police “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to loose but our chains.”

 

Other References in Compiling this Toolkit:

Compiled by Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig (Creator of “The Journey of a Brown Girl” , Summer Urban Arts Coordinator of El Puente Williamsburg Leadership Center) 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s