Call to Action: Dismantling Anti-Blackness

Call to Action for our A/PI Community

 

Dear our A/PI community and Partner Organizations, 

The Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) works to end gender-based violence by dismantling the root causes of violence stemming from racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy. We are acutely aware of how anti-Black racism including racial profiling, biases, surveillance, and discrimination are a part of the communities and the systems we engage with. We recognize the role of unequal policies and actions committed by the state, police, and law enforcement in the increased systemic violence against Black communities resulting in murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and countless unnamed others.   

DVRP stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and is committed to dismantling anti-Black racism. This includes confronting and addressing our complicity as Asian and Pacific Islander (A/PI) folks who benefit from the Model Minority myth and are often bystanders to state sanctioned violence against Black people.    

As an A/PI organization that uses a feminist, anti-racist lens, we have been working to raise awareness on anti-racist violence and bias over the past 25 years, including post-9/11 and during the current pandemic. DVRP is committed to taking the following actions to bring about change: 

  • We will name the connections between racism and oppressions that intersect with intimate partner violence and sexual assault.   
  • We pledge to continue our organizational development that is grounded in an anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectional lens, both as a non-profit and for all of us individually. 
  • We are committed to our ongoing professional development with the help of experts in racial equity. 
  • We will deepen our relationship with Black-led organizations, especially in the gender-based violence space. 
  • We will work with individuals and organizations that are using a racial justice framework. 
  • We will actively take feedback from our community to know what we can do better as an organization to show up for the communities we serve.  
  • We will speak out when organizations and individuals perpetuate anti-Black language or actions and promote accountability.    

DVRP leadership and staff is made of diverse A/PI women committed to deepening our partnership with Black-led anti-violence organizations. We pledge to educate ourselves, raise awareness in our communities, and call out anti-Blackness we witness in our personal and professional lives.  

We have started having deep, meaningful conversations on racism and A/PI complicity within the DVRP staff. This is the time to continue having these conversations with our friends, family, and community. We invite you to learn from resources such as the letters for Black Lives which has A/PI translations and the Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit.  

We are on this collective journey with you to dismantle white supremacy and stand in solidarity and allyship with the Black community.  Join us as we commit to ensuring that #BlackLivesMatter. 

Thank you for your continued support! 

In Solidarity,

The DVRP Team 

Where to Redistribute Funds & Donate:

Donate to organizations on the ground calling out Anti-Black policies and doing systemic work to radically build alternative structures for justice.

Local Bail Funds: 

The National Bail Fund Network also has a directory of community bail funds to which you can donate, along with a COVID-19 rapid response fund.


Local Organizations:

Gas Mask Fund for black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.


Legal Aid, Training, and Access to Voting:

  • The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in Black and brown communities, set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protestors.
  • Fair Fight, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams that aims to end voter suppression and equalize voting rights and access for fairer elections.
  • The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
  • Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.
  • Black Visions Collective, a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

For Families:

  • George Floyd’s family has started a GoFundMe to cover funeral and burial costs; counseling services; legal fees; and continued care for his children.
  • There’s also a GoFundMe raising money for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, donations to which will similarly fund the family’s legal battle
  • Justice for Breonna Taylor

How to Educate Yourself and Loved Ones 


Mental Health Services 
Please access these resources if you need it and share them with friends/family/ neighbors.


Petition / Call / Text

TEXT:

  • Text ‘ActionNOW’ to 90975 to get action alerts from The Movement For Black Lives for their week of action in defense of Black lives that starts today
  • Text ‘FLOYD’ to 55156 to join Color of Change in demanding justice for George Floyd

CALL:

  • You could also research how much of your city’s budget goes toward its police force, and demand your local lawmaker move to cut that spending and reallocate it towards other crucial areas, like housing, education, and public health. Divest-invest initiatives are underway, for instance, in New York CityPhiladelphia, and Los Angeles — visit their websites and get involved. They have information on which lawmakers to contact, as well as sample scripts of what you might say.
  • Find your local #DefundThePolice collective and tell your city and county officials to spend less of their budgets on police and law enforcement. [Nation]
  • Call your state legislators and demand that they cut ties with police associations and invest in Black communities
  • Script Template: I am writing to ask that direct money away from the Metropolitan Police Department and into social services that are crucial to promoting the health and wellness of citizens. These funds should be reinvested into city initiatives that support the Black communities that are the root of this city. This weekend, MPD vehicles pushed into crowds of peaceful protesters and then accelerated through crowds, nearly hitting multiple people. Police in full riot gear boxed in peaceful protesters and prevented them from leaving. MPD violently dispersed protesters with flashbang grenades and pepper spray pellets. The need to divest from the police department is not a fleeting concern born of momentary protest. Our city’s law enforcement environment is deeply flawed and systemically racist. [add statistics about police brutality against the Black community in your city]. You must stop increasing the police department’s budget, and should begin divesting from police initiatives. The police have not protected this city. They are a source of racism and violence and the council should treat them as such.

SIGN:

  • Sign the Color of Change petition: https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforfloyd_george_floyd_minneapolis
  • Campaign Zero — which is also accepting donations — has a comprehensive guide to policies that aim to correct broken windows policing, excessive force, racial profiling, for-profit policing, cash bail, and much more. Familiarize yourself with laws in your area, and contact your representatives — at the local, state, and national levels — to press them for their plans on ending discrimination in law enforcement.
  •  Reclaim the Block — a Minneapolis organization devoted to reallocating the city’s money away from the police department and toward “community-led safety initiatives,” to which you can also donate — has a petition that asks the city council to defund the police force, freeing up resources to promote the safety and health of the city’s marginalized communities

Protest:

  • Guide to protest participation during the COVID-19 pandemic [VICE]
  • The right to protest is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
  • If you get stopped, ask if you are free to go. If the police say yes, calmly walk away.
  • You have the right to record. The right to protest includes the right to record, including recording police doing their jobs.
  • The police can order people to stop interfering with legitimate police operations, but video recording from a safe distance is not interfering.
  • If you get stopped, police cannot take or confiscate any videos or photos without a warrant.
  • If you are videotaping, keep in mind in some states, the audio is treated differently than the images. But images and video images are always fully protected by the First Amendment.
  • The police’s main job in a protest is to protect your right to protest and to de-escalate any threat of violence.
  • If you get arrested, don’t say anything. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Do not sign anything and do not agree to anything without an attorney present.
  • If you get arrested, demand your right to a local phone call. If you call a lawyer for legal advice, law enforcement is not allowed to listen.
  • Police cannot delete data from your device under any circumstances.
  • Know your rights if you are stopped by immigration officials while protesting or see someone being stopped by immigration officials [United We Dream]
  • Role of surveillance in protests – Don’t post photos and videos of protesters’ faces on social media [WIRED]
  • Protect yourself from the effects of tear gas –  The use of tear gas on peaceful protesters is increasingly common. If you’re planning to attend any protests, protect yourself [International News Safety Institute]
  • Know your rights if you are attending or organizing a protest. [ACLU]
  • Also, from ACLU – As you come out to protest, here’s what to keep in mind:
    • The right to protest is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
    • If you get stopped, ask if you are free to go. If the police say yes, calmly walk away.
    • You have the right to record. The right to protest includes the right to record, including recording police doing their jobs.
    • The police can order people to stop interfering with legitimate police operations, but video recording from a safe distance is not interfering.
    • If you get stopped, police cannot take or confiscate any videos or photos without a warrant.
    • If you are videotaping, keep in mind in some states, the audio is treated differently than the images. But images and video images are always fully protected by the First Amendment.
    • The police’s main job in a protest is to protect your right to protest and to de-escalate any threat of violence.
    • If you get arrested, don’t say anything. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Do not sign anything and do not agree to anything without an attorney present.
    • If you get arrested, demand your right to a local phone call. If you call a lawyer for legal advice, law enforcement is not allowed to listen.
    • Police cannot delete data from your device under any circumstances. 

This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in solidarity. For a range of reasons, there are and always have been folks who cannot attend rallies and protests but who continue to contribute to ending police and state violence against Black people.