The events of this past week and weekend have reignited the collective fury felt for the past 400 years of injustice to the Black American community in this country. The reaction, events and commentary on social media and the news have weighed heavily on our hearts and minds here at DYLAN LEX making us restless for long term planning and action to end racism.
As part of our commitment to change, we will be featuring Black voices, leaders and issues until we see justice. We are featuring five points of view below which will be the first of many. Although their perspectives and angles are very different, these leaders are aligned on their goal of awareness and action. We know that it’s a place of privilege to have the time and resources to listen and edit a list down to five, but this is just the first of many we will share and felt that these leaders spoke directly and immediately to educate and move us to sit down and listen.
This will be the first of many posts featuring community leaders who inspire us to make a difference. We are strong supporters of the knowledge they share.
You might remember Tamika’s name as one of the main organizers of the 2017 Women’s March and being named to the Times Top 100 Most Influential People. She comes from a family of activists and organizers pushing for Freedom and Equal Rights. Tamika is a powerful speaker full of dynamism who tells it to us straight on what she thinks should be done and by whom. She does not sugarcoat when discussing protest strategy, the role of white people in marches/protests and her personal thoughts. Agree or disagree, Tamika challenges us to consider strategic and immediate action when faced with racial inequality. Here’s a list of her outlets to help you start getting educated about systemic oppression and to become a more active participant in what she calls, “The Movement.”
Rachel is a scholar at the intersection of race, womanhood and fashion whose writing for Harper’s Bazaar tells us about the significance of the statement: Black Lives Matter. She eloquently educates us on how to keep our communities accountable, such as a letter to keep employers accountable for racial justice in the workplace. She also organizes foundations for communities of color. The Love Land Foundation focuses on showing up for communities of black women and girls as well as The Great Unlearn which is an online platform for resources on critical discussions she raises on her Instagram. Her posts are incredibly clear and visibly beautiful; they share tangible ways to approach learning and unlearning of our collective histories in order for us to grow as humans in the world.
Ashlee is a professional commentator and human rights activist, most known for being the first trans woman to be the editor-in-chief of the online publication for intersectional voices, Wear Your Voice Magazine. She also heads up the organization #YOUAREESSENTIAL, a national relief fund that seeks to work collaboratively across race and gender to help vulnerable communities. Her instagram has short, well edited and easy to listen to videos that seek to lead and educate us. She keeps us up to date on the news stories that we should be aware of and explains to us why they are culturally important and relevant. Her recent video of CNN’s Omar Jimenez’s unjust arrest in Minnesota shows us clearly and succinctly how racial oppression and bias is not even immune to fame or economic and educational status. She presses us to keep society accountable by keeping us aware and educated on what it looks like to be biased.
The Conscious Kid not only has a visually stunning website, but is a wonderful resource in teaching children (and ourselves) about the unseen bias that exists in our everyday world. Their website and instagram educate us through making academia and critical essays more accessible via imagery and conversation. Topics such as consent, race and community are featured and discussed at length (with beautiful imagery) on the site. For extremely digestible fare, take a look at their instagram which features quick one liner announcements, quotes and video educating us on injustice in the world and how we might best approach the awareness with actions.
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the oldest organization we are featuring to help educate us in this time. Its mission to “ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination” is no less necessary today than when the organization was founded. The website calls us immediately to action and is rich with information regarding legislation, current events, programs and conversation to help enlighten us on the logistic reality of race and discrimination in current affairs. In the info section, the website also breaks down how you might want to get educated and involved with your personal expertise in environmental and climate justice, health, education and media diversity. It is probably the most thorough of websites relating to history, information and action, but might not be as easily digestible right away.
We hope that this initial list of people and organizations are helpful to you. However, we are the first to admit that while we are trying our best, we are not expert leaders in the movement for equality and change. Let us know your thoughts and feelings in the comments section and don’t hesitate to educate us, call us out and help guide us to find resources so we can all be made aware.