June 12, 2020
Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events,
creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol
weekly survival tip
As if his music weren’t enough to soothe during these stressful times (and turning it on now might just do the trick), here are some of things that have been getting Yo-Yo Ma through the pandemic and social unrest we’re experiencing now. We hope they’ll help you get through, too.
The idea of defunding the police has been increasingly in the news over the last few days as advocates and protestors call for it from local governments. Unclear on what that means? Well, depending on who you ask, the definition might change. But, generally, it doesn’t mean abolishing the police. Defunding means, in part, reallocating portions of law enforcement budgets to things like social services and public health. It also means rethinking the role of police in society so that professionals like social workers are the first responders when it comes to mental health crisis, drug abuse, homelessness and more. This Marshall Project article explores the big question at the heart of it all: can defunding the police lead to the kinds of outcomes – better relationships between citizens and police, fewer incidents of police violence and safer communities – that advocates hope to see? The answer, of course, depends. While defunding has not always worked as hoped, according to the piece, some proponents say it can, if people “embrace a philosophical shift when it comes to the role of cops in their lives.”
If you weren’t sure if environmentalism and systemic racism are connected, let us clear that up right now. They are. Studies show that air quality tends to be poorer in areas composed predominantly of non-white residents; that communities of color experience more exposure to particulate matter and that their water quality is often worse. Not to mention the unequal responses BIPOC tend to experience in response to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Indeed, as this Vogue article explains , “the systems of oppression that have led to the deaths of so many Black people” are, in fact, “the same systems that perpetuated environmental injustice.” So what to do? The answer may lie in an idea known as “intersectional environmentalism,” which, the article defines as “an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet.” Read more to learn more because, as the writer says, “the longer racism is not addressed, the harder it will be to save the planet.”
As large protests against police violence and racism continue across the country, some two weeks after the death of George Floyd while in police custody, parents might be asking, “how do I get my children involved?” For those considering bringing their children to protests, the decision can be a weighty one. Some of the protests have become chaotic, even dangerous – not great places for little people. If you are one of those parents, this guide from a mom who decided to bring her 7-year-old to a peaceful protest near Riverside, California, might help. Some key tips include choosing a protest in a smaller city, making sure you head home before any curfews that might be in place, and remaining vigilant about what’s happening around you. Of course, talking to your child about racism before going and allowing them to express their feelings, are essential, too. And, it turns out, good for their mental health.
Another idea is to organize a children’s march in your own neighborhood, like this mom from Atlanta did for her kids. If neither of those options work for you, there are still ways to participate with your children from the safety of your own home . And, for parents of teenagers who may want to join in on their own, here’s a primer on how to help them do it safely without you.