Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those facing racism and oppression, and we are here to listen, support and do the necessary work for systemic change. We will learn from – and lead – new generations to do better.
Our efforts for change are focused both externally (our role and impact on our community and the wider world) and internally (our organizational systems and practices).
THE EXTERNAL WORK
As an organization, we are committed to researching and sharing resources (see section below) for staff, parents, campers and alumni in the following categories:
- Learn: books, articles, blogs etc to further learning and education
- Donate: organizations and go-fund-me’s to support
- Act: ways to get involved at any level
- Follow: podcasts, instagram accounts etc – to follow and listen to the voices we should be hearing
- Support: businesses and organizations to support either through purchases, shares, social media follows etc
- Talk: ways to have conversations around this (for kids, family, friends, online etc) to help build anti-racism
We are also part of a larger conversation within the camp industry, focused on the impact we can make as a collective on the lives of ALL young people. We are fortunate to work with colleagues and peers who care deeply, and who share their insight and best practices to make it possible for us all to rise to the standards we set for ourselves. For some examples of these wider strategic goals, please see the American Camp Association and The Summer Camp Society, in addition to the numerous ways individual camps and professionals are addressing the issue within the unique communities they serve.
THE INTERNAL WORK
We are assessing every aspect of our culture and structures, with the goal of not only strengthening our diversity, equity and inclusion policies but intentionally promoting anti racism. This includes:
- HIRING: After conducting a review of current practices, we are creating a new strategic plan for our hiring practices, to look at every level from leadership down with the goal of ensuring that we are representative of the world at large, and of the community we want to be. This includes:
- Considering the makeup of our leadership staff
- Expanding our recruitment outreach and forming partnerships with organizations, schools etc that will further our goal – with a focus on HBCU
- Working with our visa agencies to determine the best ways to have staff from minority groups placed on review with us
- Examining our pay structures, being aware of the privilege afforded to those who can make a choice to take a lower paying role
- CAMPER ACCESS: a review of our camper recruitment paths, with the goal of providing accessibility of our program to a much wider demographic. This includes:
- Examining the ways in which we market ourselves, and the referrals that we get
- Building a more robust way to include scholarship access to attend K&E
- And in the meantime, we are launching an exciting partnership with SCOPE, an organization already doing incredible work to make camp accessible for all
- ENVIRONMENT: a review of our environment and community (being ready to listen to former Mickey’s Kids and Black staff as leaders in this area) with the goal of understanding and changing how it may feel to join (or view) K&E – we want to be a safe, welcoming, accessible place for everyone and to position ourselves that way to the world.
- TRAINING: making diversity, equity and inclusion training a priority across the board
- COMMUNICATION: the facilitation of discussions (with a priority of amplifying BIPOC voices among us) with the goal of furthering conversation and anti-racism beyond our own community
- White Fragility (for people just beginning their journey)
- Witnessing Whiteness (for people just beginning their journey – a book and potential other learning opportunities)
- Waking Up White (for people just beginning their journey)
- Whistling Vivaldi (for people just beginning – book about stereotypes and how to notice them)
- How to be an Anti Racist (for people further on their journey)
- Black Feminist Thought
- Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria (for people beginning/on their journey)
- Allies, Don’t Fail Us Again // Charles M. Blow, New York Times
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack // Peggy McIntosh, Wellesley College (for people just beginning their journey)
- Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article The Case for Reparations
- From Here to Equality by William A. Darity Jr., A. Kirsten Mullen.
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
- Caught by Marie Gottschalk.
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
- A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.
- Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.
- The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein.
- A Kids Book about Racism (for kids and adults)
- Anti Defamation League (ADL) list for children’s literature (diversity and social justice focused)
- ADL lessons on historical and current events – mostly for educators but parents might find it useful
- Reclaim the Block
- National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- United Negro College Fund
- Black Youth Project 100
- Color of Change
- The Sentencing Project
- Families against Mandatory Minimums
- A New Way of Life
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Dream Defenders
- National Urban League
- The National Bail Out.
- Use a growth mindset (just like we do in everything at Camp), and educate yourself and others! Read, watch and most importantly listen to BIPOC, so you have a better understanding of the issues at hand and your role in changing things
- Campaign Zero has ten evidence-based solutions to address police violence. Contact your city or town government representative(s) and police chief to advocate for these policies.
- Find out how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era are being taught in your local school. Advocate that history is taught correctly and certain parts are not skipped over or barely mentioned. Advocate that many voices be used in the study of history.
- Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids.
- Seek out a diverse group of friends for you
- Attend town halls, candidate meet-and-greets, etc for political candidates and ask about ending mass incarceration, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing or ending solitary confinement, decriminalizing weed, ending cash bail, divesting from private prisons, divesting from banks, divesting from banks that finance the Dakota Access Pipeline, etc.
- Write to your state and federal legislators about the same issues.
Find businesses and organizations to support either through purchases, shares, social media follows etc:
- Find on WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street.
- Another good list is here.
- Find Black-owned bookstores, florists, and restaurants.
- Yelp now has a feature to search for Black-owned businesses
- Etsy features Black-owned businesses here.
- 13th (powerful Netflix documentary for adults on the 13th amendment)
- The First Time I Realized I Was Black ( a collection of first hand accounts of when people first realized that being black affected how people treated them)
- Just Mercy (powerful movie about Bryan Stevenson who created EJI – high school and adults)
- Crazy Rich Asians (one of the first all Asian casts… mostly lighthearted for teens+ but some issues with stereotyping the Singapore wealthy/elite)
- The Farewell (heartfelt movie about American-Asian woman dealing with the ailment of her beloved grandmother in China and lots of traditional Chinese values/life depicted accurately)
- Black-ish (tv show about a wealthy black family living in a PWN (predominantly white neighborhood) – easy entry for people beginning their journey – ok for kids)
- Mixed-ish (comedy about mixed couple raising their mixed children – spin off of Black-ish – good entry for people beginning/in their journey – ok for kids)
- Taste the Nation (Hulu show hosted by Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef where she goes around the US to learn about cultures of immigrants and the heritage of cultures’ food)
- Code Switch – NPR podcast
- We need to raise children who understand race and are comfortable talking about it. A few resources for that: the book Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey, the NPR podcast Talking Race With Young Children, these children’s books, and these resources compiled by the Children’s Community School in Philadelphia.
- Take Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test
- When people say that Black Lives Matter is a violent/terrorist group, explain to them that there are fringe groups that are being misrepresented as part of BLM. If conservatives don’t want to be lumped in with the KKK, they can’t lump violent protesters in with BLM.
- When people ask, “Why aren’t you talking about ‘black-on-black crime’?” and other myths about BLM, let Francesca Ramsey help you with those talking points.
- When people lament that the policing problem is just “a few bad apples,” share the following evidence that it is not: comedian Amber Ruffin discussing her police encounters, the Buffalo cop who intervened on a chokehold and lost her job and pension, the Minneapolis police union chief who used his powerful position to try to justify George Floyd’s torture and death, and the Philadelphia Police Union President who, in his position of authority, called Black Lives Matter protestors ‘rabid animals.’ Remember that the fourth stage of genocide is “dehumanization, wherein members of a particular group “are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.”
- Check out the White Ally Toolkit, which helps white folks become more persuasive in conversations with racism skeptics by empowering and equipping us with best practice communications skills based on listening, storytelling, and compassion.
- ADL resources for parents (tools/strategies for anti-bias work and conversations)
We will be updating this resource library regularly. We’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions regarding content we should share! Many of these came from an article on medium.com, where there are lots more to check out!