01Jun
By: Fordham Theatre On: June 1, 2020 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

The following thoughts and resources come from the Fordham Theatre faculty’s collective effort to weave the strands of our conversation about Racial Injustice. 

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and send love to our community.

America is broken. Riots are a symptom. Racism is the problem.

The criminal violence against Black men, women, and children must stop.

We are all striving to find meaning in the senseless slaughter of our brother, George Floyd. We struggle to find meaning in who we are as a country and as a member of the human family.  Our faith has been shaken, our core has been decimated, and our decency shattered by centuries of inequality.

As of this writing, uprisings are occurring in over three dozen cities to protest the murder of George Floyd. Those in the streets are also there to cry justice for the deaths of Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and an endless litany of the victims of racist violence.

What can White people do?  It is imperative that White people embrace what Toni Morrison said: “White people have a very very serious problem, and THEY should start thinking about what THEY can do about it.”

For those who want to watch this 2:43 second excerpt from her 1993 interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S7zGgL6Suw

From the Guide to Allyship:

Take on the struggle as your own.
Stand up, even when you feel scared.
Transfer the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it.
Acknowledge that while you, too, feel pain, the conversation is not about you.

We must humbly examine our stream of errors and acknowledge that the discomfort this causes us and others is a consequence of the work we have committed to do, and which we accept will never be done. 

We must reach inside ourselves to acknowledge our own racism, call on other White people in our community to do the same, and engage in anti-racist practices.  We must commit to our education as individuals and as a Program so that we can uproot the system of racism on which we are built.

I am a theatre artist because I want to change the world. Theatre has the power to save lives. For me, theatre is political. Theatre has a way of entering our consciousness and begging us to create a world that is boldly kind and accepting. Theatre asks us to constantly question the systems and inequities that create imbalance and injustice in this world.  As a White theatre artist it has been, and will continue to be, my responsibility to tune into and use my privileges to fight against the racial inequalities in this country and in this world, and I promise to allow myself to be held accountable, and I promise to hold those around me accountable.  The POC in our lives cannot do this alone. We must work to be their allies in every sense of the word.

Anti-Racism resources for White people
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic

What is the history that led to this moment?
Timeline of Protests

Below is a list of resources on this weekend’s protests and allyship:

17 Books
Where to Donate
How To Be a Better Ally
Guide to Allyship

Earlier this spring, Fordham took a progressive step.  It announced that it would no longer use the SAT as a factor in Admissions.  Fordham recognized the racial and economic bias inherent in the testing process, and concluded the system wasn’t consistent with the university’s values.  Continue to petition for any other system that limits equality.  This is a Jesuit value.

Outside of Fordham, there is much to be done:
Call for the prosecution of those police officers who kill and injure INCLUDING THOSE police officers who stand by when racial violence takes place.
Fight for healthcare as a human right.
Fight to end housing discrimination.
Fight to construct Civilian Review Boards with the power to prosecute police who abuse their power.

Watch this performance by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club of composer Joel Thompson’s The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od6DMd3sP4s

  1. Kenneth Chamberlain, 66 “Why do you have your guns out?”
  2. Trayvon Martin, 16 “What are you following me for?”
  3. Amadou Diallo, 23 “Mom, I’m going to college.”
  4. Michael Brown, 18 “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.”
  5. Oscar Grant, 22 “You shot me! You shot me!”
  6. John Crawford, 22 “It’s not real.”
  7. Eric Garner, 43 “I can’t breathe.”

Below are links to further resources.

Peace and Love and the utmost Respect to you all,
The Fordham Theatre Faculty

 

From our friends at AAPAC, the Asian American Performers Action Coalition: 

Here are ways that you can help:

Donate to:
Minnesota ACLU:
https://aclu-mn.org/en/donate

George Floyd’s family gofundme:
https://gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

Black Visions Collective, organizing for Black and collective liberation:
https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/
 
Reclaim The Block, for organizing for structural change in Minneapolis:
https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home/
 
Minnesota Freedom Fund to support bail for any arrests:
https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
 
Unicorn Riot, for providing critical live streams and information in MN: https://unicornriot.ninja/five-years-of-unicorn-riot/

Take Action Minnesota to build a people-centered democracy that works for all: https://takeactionminnesota.org/

ActBlue will split your donation among many of these organizations: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ab_mn?refcode=insta

From our friends at New York Theatre Workshop:

National Bailout Fund
Black Visions Collective
Color of Change
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
The Bail Project
Black Lives Matter
Reclaim the Block
Communities United Against Police Brutality
Bail Out Fund links
Justice for Tony McDade
Justice for Breonna Taylor
I Run With Maud
What to Send Up On Your Own

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