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June Newsletter

Welcome to the first-ever letsnotforget.org newsletter! We’re excited to use this platform to help our readers stay informed and active in the fight for racial justice. In each email you can expect to read:

• News highlighting recent updates around racial equity and actions you can take to support the cause.

Stories amplifying the voices of Black people, businesses, and non-profits.

News and Actions

Photo by mana5280

Protests Continue Across the US

It’s been one month since police officers murdered George Floyd, and protestors in all 50 states continue to gather and demand an end to police brutality and systemic racism. Here’s what the protests have accomplished:
• NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the state will update its use of force guidelines for the first time in 20 years.

• Dallas, TX adopted a 'duty to intervene' policy requiring police to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.

• NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the 'Say Their Name' Reform Agenda package to pass 10 bills addressing issues such as the disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records and the right to record police activity.

• After protestors took down confederate statues across the US, elected officials also permanently removed confederate monuments.

Take Action:

1. Donate to a protest bail fund.

Officers Involved in George Floyd Murder Face Charges

Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, now faces a second-degree murder charge in addition to third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. The three other officers involved in Floyd’s death, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J Alexander Kueng, have been charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng were released from Hennepin County Jail after each posted bail of $750,000, while the other two former officers remain in custody.

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

On June 11, Louisville, KY Metro Council passed Breonna’s Law, banning no-knock warrants and requiring police to wear body cameras when serving warrants. Brett Hankison, the officer responsible for killing Breonna Taylor was fired on June 23, 102 days after Breonna's murder. The other officers involved in the killing, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, have been placed on administrative leave. None of the officers have been arrested or charged with Breonna’s murder. Read the full story here.

Take Action:

1. Sign the Color of Change petition and Change petition.
2. Email Louisville, KY Mayor Greg Fischer.

Cities Defund Police in Response to Protests

On Friday, June 12, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted in support of replacing the police department with a community-based public safety model. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a four-part plan for police reform in which trained, unarmed professionals will replace police in responding to non-violent calls. Los Angeles and New York City also plan on making major cuts to their local police department budgets.

Take Action:

1. Email your local elected officials.

Rayshard Brooks Shot by Police in Atlanta

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned following the shooting of Rayshard Brooks outside of a Wendy’s restaurant. The police officer who shot and killed Brooks was later charged with 11 offenses including felony murder. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she will sign a series of executive orders reforming the Atlanta Police Department’s use of force policies. This video analyzes related witness videos, police footage, and official documents. Warning: This video contains graphic violence and explicit language.

Take Action:

1. Sign the Change petition.
2. Donate to the GoFundMe for Brooks’ family.
3. Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support protestors.

Stories

Illustrations by Amir Williams

with stringed instruments.

Amir Williams is a Data Analyst at Google and an alumna of Duke University. She believes in the power of storytelling to give voice to the silenced, instill compassion toward justice, and spark reform in the public sphere.

"I made this project to capture my community’s lament in response to the police killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, and countless others. I chose to share this work on Juneteenth as a way to commemorate the final ending of slavery in the US and the long-awaited liberation of our ancestors. It is an urge for us to recognize and celebrate the resilient beauty exhibited in our fight for further freedom today." - Amir Williams

Seeds Podcast Helps Build Black Wealth

Seeds, a podcast by Common Wealth Coaching, debriefs young people’s common money challenges in 15-minutes. Co-hosted by Founder Lesley Chen-Young, this podcast was inspired by the sad realization that most young people don’t know where to start when building wealth. Moreover, she found that today’s personal finance resources weren’t built for Black women like her. In each episode, Seeds provides inspiration to grow your own wealth and unlock your ideal lifestyle. Check out this recent episode on building Black wealth as individuals and as a community. Email her with any questions and follow @cmmnwealthcoach on Instagram.

Additional Resources

Books to Read (from Black-owned bookstores): The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide - Carol Anderson

Videos to Watch: Housing Segregation and Redlining in America, The Massacre of Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street”
Check out our website for a growing list of resources and follow us on Instagram for more frequent updates about the news and ways to stay active.