Juneteenth: A Celebration of Black Life and Culture in America
As many of you know, our CEO Jessica and PurePoint have been very active over the last few weeks. This has included one on one conversations with leaders, participation on webinars, co-facilitating circles of dialogue (including healing circles), and consulting with clients at the intersection of creating a safe and secure workplace, racial equity and inclusion (YES, this is part of our work). This also includes the gathering of many resources that were shared with many members of our community and today we wanted to formally share them with you.
Since PurePoint International started, our brand Consciously Secure Living, and our Security for Social Impact initiative, has addressed unique and important concerns raised by members in our PurePoint community to support our leaders where they are and help them create inner security so they can create outer security for those they care about most, particularly, vulnerable populations, including people of color, women and Black communities. Though one of the main ways we have been able to serve our community of leaders is through cybersecurity consulting, at PurePoint, we have always seen safety and security as intersectional, interdisciplinary, and necessary for the thriving of human life. This includes our consulting work as well as our Consciously Secure Leader Webinar Series.
With the recent events, including the wrongful death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, to protests and in every city in the US, and many cities around the world, we are being faced with the reminder of how racism is deeply-rooted in the American culture. It is part of what fuels our vision at PurePoint International, and Consciously Secure Living, since our inception, of creating consciously secure lives for billions of people based in safety, security, inclusion, equality and LOVE.
We are thankful to YOU, our community of Consciously Secure Leaders, allies and supporters who we work with in companies and communities around the world. When violence, hate and systemic racism continue to impact the safety and security of one community it impacts the safety and security of all communities. Now is a time for ancestral healing and support. We recognize the need for community and are here to serve.
Today the main topic in the media being addressed is police violence. There are also inequalities in housing, healthcare, education, hiring and promotion practices, supplier diversity, environmental racism, the frequency and length of the incarceration of Black individuals, economic and wage gaps, investment in Black businesses, voting, Black LGBTQI+ individuals, colorism, among others. As an ally, caring about Black lives is a lifelong commitment.
Today, we celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. There were an estimate of 3,953,750 slaves in the US in 1860, and 500,000 individuals were estimated to be free Black people according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
PurePoint International celebrates this as a historical holiday in Black history in the US and as a celebration of Black life and culture.
We have celebrated by participating in collaborating events with our partners yesterday and today, (learn more www.the-purepoint.com) and we encourage you to celebrate and learn.
Learn more about Juneteenth at https://www.juneteenth.com/.
As part of this celebration we recognize this is also a time for learning. Please see these resources below: many that were gathered and shared by Jessica herself, and later beautifully organized by friends and collaborators for which we express deep gratitude.
Jessica’s hope and vision are that these resources are shared widely in companies’ and communities around the world (take them, brand them, make them your own). At PurePoint, we will update these resources on an ongoing basis. We encourage you to share these resources as desired. As members of our PurePoint community, please feel free to reach out to Jessica directly with questions (firstname.lastname@example.org, or email email@example.com).
Webinars with Jessica:
More to come…be sure to join us.
Resource Lists, Articles, & Stories:
Videos / Documentaries / Movies:
A limited four-episode series by Ava DuVernay, When They See Us the story of The Exonerated Five, also known as The Central Park Five. It’s based on a 1989 case where five seventh- and eighth-grade students of color from Harlem were falsely accused of a brutal attack of a white woman in Central Park. They all served time for a crime they didn’t commit.
Freedom Riders is a documentary that tells the story of over 400 Black and white Americans who risked their lives to challenge the segregated interstate travel system.
Directed by Ava DuVernay. The documentary 13th analyzes the criminalization of African Americans and the prison boom in the United States. The title is derived from the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as a punishment for a crime.
This 2013 film, based on a historical-fiction novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, tells the story of an African American family from Flint, Michigan. When their son gets into some trouble, the family decides to take him to spend the summer with his grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama. Tragic events take place when they arrive during a period of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tell Black Stories
#TellBlackStories was created as an extension of Color of Change Hollywood — our initiative to change the rules in Hollywood by ensuring accurate, diverse, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people in film and TV.
Still Processing, New York Times
Step inside the confession booth of Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times. They devour TV, movies, art, music, and the Internet to find the things that move them – to tears, awe, and anger. Still Processing is where they try to understand the pleasure and pathologies of America in 2020
On NPR’s podcast Code Switch, hosts Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby discuss how race impacts everything from politics and pop culture to history and sports. A recent episode explored how two Los Angeles-based Capoeira instructors are staying afloat after COVID-19 forced them to close their gym.
Books to Read:
I’ve listed the links to purchase each book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kindle, and Audible below. If you prefer to purchase from a local bookstore, which I would recommend, please visit Indiebound.org, search for the book, then enter your zip code to find local a bookstore that carries it.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Y Davis
Invisible Man Got The Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith
Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs by David Ikard, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
Occupying Privilege: Conversations on Love, Race, & Liberation by JLoveCalderon
Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Women, Race, & Class by Angela Davis
Where to Donate:
Official GoFundMe to support the Floyd Family.
Community-based non-profit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals who have been arrested while protesting police brutality.
Support the Black Lives Matter movement and their ongoing fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.
A black, trans, and queer-led organization that is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence, and shifting the public narrative to create transformative long-term change.
Coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods
Online platform and organization that utilized research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
Non-profit organization that is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues.
National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) is a project of the National Lawyers Guild. NPAP was created as a non-profit to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement and detention facility personnel. The central mission of NPAP is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
The National Bail Out collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. The National Bail Out Collective coordinates the Mama’s Day Bail Outs, where we bail out as many Black Mamas and caregivers as we can so they can spend Mother’s Day with their families where they belong! The National Bail Out Collective also provides fellowship and employment opportunities for those we bail out in order to support their growth and create a national community of leaders who have experienced incarceration. We also work with groups across the country to support ongoing bail reform efforts and create resources for organizers and advocates interested in ending pretrial detention.
Mutual Aid NYC is a multi-racial network of people and groups building support systems for people in the New York area during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We work at a citywide level to help those actively working in communities find the people and resources they need to do their work. We believe that this access will help them provide mutual aid, advocacy, and services to as many people as possible—now and in the future.
Justice for Amaud Arbery Fundraiser. This fundraiser was designed to assist Ahmaud’s mother; Ms. Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extreme difficult time and in their struggle for justice for the murder of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery.
This is a petition, and a fundraiser. Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community. She worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic. On March 13th, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her.
Petitions to Sign:
Demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.
Tell Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to #StopRacistTwitter by banning white supremacists and adopting the Change the Terms coalition’s model policies and terms of service.
In order to protect ourselves and those we love, we need the government to collect and release demographic data on the coronavirus. Also, the CDC must aggregate and release data to provide the Black community with information and resources targeted to our needs.
Buy from Black-Owned Businesses:
The Doonie Fund -Donate to Black female entrepreneurs
Call your state and US representatives.
Attend local community council meetings.
Engage in the tough conversations with friends and family
How to Check in with your black friends (if you’re white):
The first thing to remember is that this is not about you. Don’t center the narrative around yourself, and don’t defend your own actions or your story. Leave your pride and your ego at the door, and open up your heart to listen and support.
When checking in with your black friends, try to refrain from asking “how are you doing?” That’s an incredibly difficult question to answer right now, and your friends might honestly not know how to respond. Here are some other ways to check in:
- Tell your friends how you’ve been feeling first, and how this has been affecting you. Then open the door to ask how they’re feeling. Example: “I’ve been feeling so hurt, and all of this is weighing so heavy on my heart. I’ve been having trouble focusing on work lately. How have you been feeling?”
- Ask about something specific like, “what have you been thinking about,” “How has your day been,” “How does it feel to be you right now?”
- Offer support without asking questions, and hold space for them. “I love you, and am just checking in because I’ve been thinking about you. I hope you’re doing OK. There’s no need to answer if you don’t feel up to it, but know I’m here for you if you’re struggling or want to talk.”
- Be curious. Ask, “what’s helping you cope right now,” or “are there particular resources – books, podcasts, or shows – you’d recommend right now?”
- Offer to do an activity together. You can offer to watch a movie together over Zoom, have a vent session over drinks, plan a socially distant picnic in the park, etc. If they say yes, follow up to actually make it happen.
These are some of the people, places, and websites I used to compile these resources.
@ellamosco – Where to donate
@revelatori – How to check in with your black friends
@beescolnick – Where to donate and Accounts to Follow
@mireillecharper – Accounts to Follow, How to check in with your black friends