In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.Angela Davis
To our audiences, friends and communities:
We’re usually silly, but right now we need to be serious.
Together with our Black ensemble members, audience members, and community, we mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and far too many other Black Americans.
Their deaths are horrific evidence of the systematic violence against Black people that has persisted in our country for over 400 years, and continues today. We condemn the racism and white supremacy that are at the root of these tragedies, and we stand in solidarity with our Black friends and neighbors to demand change.
Black Lives Matter.
We must all take action to dismantle racism and white supremacy. Those of us who are not Black need to step up more than we have in the past. We call on our community to join us in fighting racism today, and every day. We call on you to hold us and one another accountable to continue this work, no matter what headlines are trending. Together with the leadership of Black activists and community members, we can and must end racism within ourselves, our ensemble, and our society, so that we all may live lives that are joyful, connected, and safe.
Below, we share some of the resources that we have found most urgent and useful, particularly for Bay Area families. These resources offer ways to take immediate action to change racist policies, and for ongoing education, reflection and action to transform our communities and our relationships toward liberation and equity for all people.
The Peripatetic Players:
Sam Bertken, Joan Howard, Rebecca Longworth, Casey Robbins, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Soren Santos, Kenny Scott & Marlene Yarosh
Anti-Racist Resources & Black Self-Care
We’ll update this list periodically with the resources we’re finding most helpful, so do check back — and of course, this list is not exhaustive!
Take immediate action to demand justice in the wake of recent murders, and continue to take anti-racist action regularly.
These Bay Area organizations list ways to self-educate, self-reflect, support Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations, and take immediate political action:
- Oakland Museum of California
- Visit Oakland
- Oakland Public Library – includes resources & book lists for talking to kids about race
Talk to folks in your life — especially kids — about race.
- Embrace Race is a hub of resources and community dedicated to raising kids who are “thoughtful, informed, and brave about race,” including this webinar on supporting kids of color amid racialized violence.
- The Conscious Kid is dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth, including access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups. Support The Conscious Kid on Patreon to access exclusive articles and book lists.
- The National Museum of African-American History and Culture (the Black Smithsonian)’s Talking About Race resources provide “tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.”
- San Francisco Public Library has many fantastic reading lists, with most resources available electronically. (You don’t have to be an SF resident to get a library card!) Here are 3 of them:
Support Bay Area Black-led organizations fighting racism in our communities
Consider making recurring monthly donations as a means of ongoing commitment. There are many more worthy and hardworking organizations than are listed here — we urge you to read the Policy Platforms articulated by Movement 4 Black Lives and find other ways to take action in your community:
- Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization building power in low to moderate income neighborhoods to fight and stand for economic, racial and social justice.
- Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) is committed to ending state-sanctioned murder of Black, Brown & Poor People.
- Black Organizing Project is a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland, California. [Check out their People’s Plan for Police-Free Schools, a call to action to rid OUSD of police.]
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) educates and engages African American and Black immigrant communities to advocate for racial, social and economic justice.
- Community Ready Corps (CRC) works for self determination in disenfranchised communities in Oakland, CA.
- Ella Baker Center works to end mass incarceration and criminalization, demanding reinvestment in our communities, instead of more imprisonment.
- People’s Breakfast Oakland and Black Earth Farms are both food justice organizations working to feed arrested protesters and bail them out. (Note: links are to direct donation links to support their work. Both orgs are prioritizing direct donations over slick-looking websites. If you need a legitimacy check, visit this article in Forbes or this one from SF Eater.)
- Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) interrupts cycles of violence and incarceration by promoting restorative justice practices and policies in schools, communities, and the juvenile justice system.
- SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Bay Area is an organization of white people providing resources for anti-racist work and supporting POC-led organizations and initiatives.
- The Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) is a group of individuals and families led by Black trans women who are in prison, formerly incarcerated, or targeted by the police. TGIJP is focused on challenging and ending the human rights abuses committed against TGI people in California prisons, jails, detention centers and beyond.
Self-care and safety for our Black community
Compiled by Leigh Rondon-Davis:
- The Root: Tips for Self-Care: When Police Brutality Has You Questioning Humanity and Social Media Is Enough
- Association of Black Psychologists: FamilyCare, CommunityCare and SelfCare Tool Kit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma
- National Museum of African-American History and Culture: Self-Care
- SELF: 11 Black Self-Care Tips From Real People
Rebecca and Joan, the artistic directors of our parent organization, Idiot String, are also examining how they as individuals can implement anti-racist practices and bring them to Idiot String’s broader artistic work. They share a short list of those resources and actions at Idiot String’s website.
This page exists not only to state our beliefs and to provide resources, but to invite our community into anti-racist conversation and action, to serve as a measure of whether we are living up to our commitments, and as a enduring guide to our ensemble.