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July Newsletter

Welcome to the July newsletter! Since the death of George Floyd on May 25th, 4,352 cities and towns around the globe have held protests in support of Black Lives Matter. Following these protests, the Asheville City Council approved reparations for Black residents and Mississippi lawmakers voted to retire the state’s flag for its connection to the Confederacy. Keep reading for the latest news updates and ways you can continue supporting the movement.

News and Actions

Photo by Joe Yates

Federal Agents in Portland

Protests in Portland, OR have been ongoing for more than 50 consecutive days following the death of George Floyd. Earlier this month, President Trump sent hundreds of federal agents from the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to Portland reportedly to protect federal properties and monuments. Riots broke out on July 18th amidst increasing tensions and accusations of officers intentionally escalating violence. Protestors also allege that the officers are failing to identify themselves during arrests and detaining civilians in unmarked vans.

Take Action:

1. Donate to the Portland Action Medics to provide bulk health and safety supplies to vulnerable communities.
2. Donate to Don’t Shoot PDX, a Black-led non-profit dedicated to creating social change through art, education, and civic participation.

COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects Black Americans

Data shows Black and Latino people throughout hundreds of US urban, suburban, and rural counties and across all age groups are three times as likely to become infected with COVID-19 as their white neighbors. Studies show the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on Black Americans is a result of structural issues including Black Americans having higher rates of underlying conditions, less access to quality health care, and more exposure to the virus from holding essential jobs that cannot be done from home.

Take Action:

1. Donate to the Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

136 days have passed since Louisville Police Officers murdered Breonna Taylor. Officers Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove still have not been arrested or charged with Breonna’s murder. Read the full story here.

Take Action:

1. Visit www.callforbreonna.com to receive talking points and get connected with four lawmakers responsible for holding Breonna’s murderers accountable.

Support for Police Reform Across the US

On July 1st, Los Angeles city leaders voted to officially cut funding for the Los Angeles Police Department by $150 million. Additionally, major school districts in Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Milwaukee have pledged to remove police officers from schools. Most prominently, the Oakland School Board voted unanimously in support of the “George Floyd Resolution” which eliminates police presence in schools and supports hiring social workers, mental health professionals, and restorative justice practitioners.

Take Action:

1. Send a message to Congress supporting the ACLU’s demands to divest from the police.

Major Companies Boycott Facebook Ads

Following public outrage in response to Facebook’s failure to respond to hateful and racist speech on its platform, major brands are stopping advertising on Facebook-owned platforms as a part of the #StopHateForProfit boycott. Participation in the boycott by companies including Disney, Walmart, McDonald's, Peloton, and Ikea has already cost Facebook millions of dollars.

Take Action:

1. Be intentional with your own spending. Use apps like EatOkra and #BlackOwned to find Black-owned restaurants and businesses to support.

Stories

Here's The Thing Podcast

While many Black women are beginning to rise within the entertainment industry, Janet and Alexa - two Black women in their early twenties living in Los Angeles - saw a Black female comedy duo missing from their age demographic. So they decided to start Here’s The Thing - their own Podcast and YouTube channel! From fetishes and dating to activism during a global pandemic, no topic is off-limits. In true COVID-19 fashion, Kyra Josephson, one of our Let’s Not Forget founders, connected with Janet and Alexa over FaceTime to discuss Here’s The Thing and Black Lives Matter. Read the full conversation and check out Here’s The Thing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and Instagram!

#BlackOwned App

#BlackOwned is an app that mines the hashtags #blackownedbusiness and #supportblackbusiness to ensure businesses highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement do not get lost in social media. With data overload on social media platforms, there is no consolidated directory to help consumers take action. Created by Cameron King, a recent Duke University graduate, #BlackOwned has over 7,000 listings globally. Similar to Yelp, users can browse Black-owned businesses across every industry category, discover all listings on the map, and rate and review businesses. Users can also filter listings by tags such as woman-owned, LGBTQIA-owned, sustainable, vegan, etc. Download #BlackOwned to easily discover and support Black-owned businesses near you!

Additional Resources

Books to Read (from Black-owned bookstores): The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas, Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

Videos to Watch: The Truth About the Money Bail Industry, The US medical system is still haunted by slavery

Check out our website for a growing list of resources and follow us on Instagram for more frequent news updates.