Do ya’ll remember Harya Tarekegn? She was the lawyer I interviewed on how to network like a boss earlier this year. Well, after the shootings of Alton Sterling, Delrawn Small and Philando Castile, she sent me an email stating specifically how she planned to take action against police brutality. While those 3 murders are unfortunately starting to become memories for some of us, the reality remains – black men are getting killed by police at significantly higher rates than any other race. If you subscribe to this blog, you know I am all about living vibrantly and meaningfully. Here is your chance to be of use to the world. You are only as powerful as your actions. #StayWokeFollowing the events of this past week I have decided to do some concrete things to take some action. I have felt very overwhelmed, paralyzed, angry, sad and anxious over the past few days, and I'm finally feeling ready to make some moves and turn my emotions into something more positive. Racism in America is so deeply ingrained that nobody can solve by tackling it as one big problem. So let’s use the existing points of entry for change:
1. Federal Level
With Justice Scalia's death, Ginsberg's age, and Thomas' potential retirement, the next president could appoint anywhere from 1 to 3+ justices.
Here is what I’m going to do to elect a president that will appoint more bosses like Justice Sotomayor to the Supreme Court:
Participate in phone banks
Canvas in New York and especially New Jersey - starting on August 13th in Harlem
Participate in voter registration drives
Protect the right to vote
Sign up to Volunteer with Hilary’s campaign
2. State Level
A large number of the laws that dictate when an officer can use force, draw his weapon, etc are decided on a state level. Here is a good resource to track the progress of legislation dealing with police violence.
3. Community Level
Engaging in our communities has always been important but our generation has an opportunity to show up for the black community in a really valuable way at this point in history. Here are some ways to do that:
· Work with your local politicians, representatives and police departments
o Hakeem Jefferies, Congressman for the 8th District of New York is very active on the issue and is hosting outdoor office hours during the summer
o Ruben Diaz Jr. is rumored to be running for mayor against de Blasio. Learn about him
o Learn about Jim O’ Neil who is rumored to take over when Blatter resigns
· Become a mentor with programs like:
· Donate to:
o Politicians you believe in (presidential or not)
· Donate to the Tuition Fund for Alton Sterling's Children. If you scroll through, you can see that a ton of the donations are only $5. It doesn't matter how much you give, but this just shows that together we are powerful.
· Sign Petitions like this one asking for the creation of a federal agency to supervise law enforcement. Or this one demanding the Justice Department look into the killing of Alton Sterling. Or this one for Philando Castile.
· Attend Marches and Protests. If you want to hear about them, here are the two I follow: @millionsmarchnyc @stopmassincarcerationnetwork and many more.
Love you all, hope this helps.