As educators, health care professionals, and unionists, we cannot be silent to the continued injustices against people of color in our country. We must condemn racist violence like that which led to the death of George Floyd. We mourn for his family, for the pain of their loss and the way he was stolen from them.
We stand with our students, patients and members affected by these injustices and with peaceful protesters across the country demanding justice. They are also demanding change targeting racist institutions that do not reflect the ideals of a society that claims to believe in equality and justice for all.
UUP has a long history of commitment to social justice, and we stand steadfast by that commitment today. I released a statement last week that can be found here.
UUP will join the digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington, the largest digital gathering of poor, dispossessed and impacted people, faith leaders, and people of conscience, organized by the Poor People’s Campaign on June 20, 2020. You can find more information and RSVP here. The Poor People’s Campaign has developed a digital toolkit with sample posts, graphics and more ways to amplify the event.
Our national affiliate, The American Federation of Teachers, has joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and hundreds of other organizations in sending a letter to Congress demanding it create a federal standard for when police officers can use force, prohibiting racial profiling, and ending a program that provides surplus military supplies to local law enforcement, including school police. Learn more here.
UUP encourages all our members to be part of the solution as we move forward together. There are many ways to stand in solidarity, but we’ve compiled a list of upcoming events and solidarity actions here:
June 4, 2020- 3 PM: The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus will host Press Conferences at 3 pm in Albany, Bronx, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Rochester, Staten Island and Syracuse in support of New York State Police Reform. Learn more here.
June 4, 2020- 9 PM: The Poor People’s Campaign is hosting a Moral Fusion Student Fellows Digital Town Hall on Thursday, June 4 at 9 pm via Facebook Live. The event will feature students and recent graduates talking about the impact of campus closures, police violence, the economic crisis, and COVID19, and demonstrate the importance of organizing and mobilizing for June 20. Join at facebook.com/anewppc/
June 6, 2020- 12 PM: CNY Black Lives Matter March. Where: Homer-Cortland NY, The Village Green- Courthouse Park. When: June 6, 2020- 12 PM. Why: To fight for equality for all. Please wear black. Signs are welcome and encouraged. Masks are required. Absolutely no violence will be tolerated. For more information follow @cny_blacklivesmatter on Instagram.
June 8, 2020: NYSUT Virtual Vigil. More details coming soon.
June 20, 2020- 10 AM: UUP will join the digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington, the largest digital gathering of poor, dispossessed and impacted people, faith leaders, and people of conscience, organized by the Poor People’s Campaign on June 20, 2020.
Masks should always be worn when in public and social distancing should be practiced when possible. Members should consider their own health and only attend if they are comfortable doing so.
Encourage active discussion of issues of race on your campus. In union meetings, classes, and other events, provide time to discuss racial injustices on your campus and work together for collective change. Make sure students, faculty and staff of color are leading these discussions.
Stand with students. Our students are committed to social justice, and we should be joining and supporting them in peaceful protests. Reach out to student groups on campus, especially those which are led by students of color, and ask how UUP can help.
Phone Banking and Text Storming with the Poor People’s Campaign. Sign up for a 30 minute training and learn more here.
Sign the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers’ online petition demanding justice here.
Sign the Color of Change petition to end violent policing against black people here.
Consider making monetary donations to:
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.The Poor People’s Campaign, which supports people coming together to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
Visit the Education Minnesota webpage, which includes actions to take, anti-racism resources and other organizations to consider donating to.
Please keep us updated on any actions on your campus and in your community that we can help amplify and suggestions for additional organizations members should consider supporting by emailing Amy Sheldon at email@example.com. This is a collective problem that requires a collective solution. We will keep a resource page active with this information.
As we continuously educate ourselves, I encourage you to read “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change” by President Barack Obama here and visit the resource page on obama.org here.