BLMWV is funded by people like you. All our support comes from individual donations, small businesses, and a very small amount comes from the sale of merchandise such as masks, tshirts, and other small items. We also take donations from individuals of PPE to be distributed to protesters and those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are NOT funded by politicians or big businesses. We are not funded by the national foundation and therefore we spend all of our money right here in West Virginia. We do not donate to political candidates. Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 579, Institute, WV 25112
Let's talk about “black on black crime.” First it's not a real thing, and here's why. You’ve probably heard a statistic like this before – The majority of black people murdered are killed by other black people. That’s true, but also misleading. The overwhelming majority of white murder victims each year are killed by white assailants. So, when’s the last time you heard the term “white on white crime?”. People generally commit crimes against people they know or live near. I know... SHOCKER. Black people tend to live near each other, and the same thing can be said for every other racial demographic in the country. In reality, crime is directly linked more to poverty than race or any other factor.
According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, People living in households with income below the federal poverty threshold are twice as likely to commit a violent crime than people in high-income households, regardless of race.
We live in a country where the poverty rate is more than twice as high among black Americans than white. And that has as much to do with 400 years of systemic racism than anything else.
One of the most commonly repeated fallacies. The claim that Irish people were enslaved in the British American Colonies stems from a misrepresentation of the idea of “indentured servitude.” Indentured servants were people required to complete unpaid labor for a contracted period.
Crucially, indentured servants were considered human beings under the law. African slaves were seen as property rather than people; Africans were racialized as Black to cement this enslaved status as permanent, inheritable, and justifiable in the natural order. "An indenture implies two people have entered into a contract with each other but slavery is not a contract," Leslie Harris, professor of history at Northwestern University. While the majority of Irish people who became indentured servants in the Colonies did so willingly (some did it to secure passage to America, or to pay off a debt), a not insignificant number were forcibly deported and sold into indentured servitude. the term of which was usually 7 years, whereas slavery had no end.
REVERSE RACISM ISNT REAL. In order to understand this we need to define a couple terms.
1. Bias: Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. In other words, every human develops bias. That's right all of us. It is a natural thing that happens to all of us just by living life. What we see, hear, or experience in everyday life shapes our preconceived and many times subconscious idea of people. Once we recognize this we must all work to fix this in ourselves.
2. Discrimination: Racial discrimination is any discrimination against individuals on the basis of their skin color, or racial or ethnic origin. Discrimination is when we take those biases and act upon them. Anyone of any race or ethnic background can be discriminatory. Little known fact-- a person can be discriminatory against their own ethnicity or race.
Racism: racism = discrimination + Power. Racism incorporates the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another. Racial prejudice can indeed be directed at white people (e.g., white people can’t dance) but is not considered racism because of the systemic relationship of power. When backed with power, prejudice results in acts of discrimination and oppression against groups or individuals. While expressions of racial prejudice directed at white people may hurt the white person/people individually or personally, and are never to be condoned, they do not have the power or authority to affect the white person's social/economic/political location and privileges.
Most people unfamiliar think that Defund the Police means to abolish the police. This is not what it means. When we talk about defunding the police, we’re talking about making a major pivot in national priorities. We need to see a shift from massive spending on police that don’t keep us safe to a massive investment in a shared vision of community safety that actually works. We know this won’t happen overnight. We’re tired of quick fixes and piecemeal reforms. Ending police violence will require a thoughtful, deliberate, and participatory approach that has already begun.
It has been proven that spending more money on police does not automatically lead to less violent crime. It does, however lead to greater instances of police violence, especially towards marginalized populations. Police often do not solve or prevent criminal activity, instead they often escalate situations and their interactions are more likely to result in death for BIPOC as opposed to their white counterparts.
Defunding the Police has already been put into practice in other cities with proven results. Cities spend an exorbitant amount of their budget on police. Quite a bit of that even pays for payouts to the victims of police brutality. By taking some of that budget away from police and rerouting it to health and human resources, the community is better served with resources that do not always require police presence. For example, in one city, 911 calls are routed to either police, fire, ambulance services, or mental health services as needed. Not all calls require police presence, however, currently police are expected to not only police, but also do the jobs of medics, fire departments, mental health professionals, and health and human services professionals. This would get the community the services they need, and free up police officers to do their actual job which is protecting and serving.
Black Lives Matter believes in non violence, and civil disobedience.
Civil Disobedience: The refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.
BLM is an organized movement in the United States advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality. We do not advocate destruction of property, looting, or violence. We do believe in the right to protect ourselves.
Mental Health Resources
So often the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy prevents Black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist. This space was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant.
Our Mental Health Minute (via Dr. Riana Anderson U-M SPH, Thanks!)
Ri + CT discussed their dreams of bringing psychology content to the community in a fun and relevant way and created this fantastic platform for all to enjoy. With 2 seasons and over 25 episodes on mental health content, they hope to provide materials that are relatable, informative, and helpful in engaging Black people with mental health knowledge and treatment. Ri and CT are determined to make their content grow through videos, podcasts, and online engagement. Their work - both in research and through OurMHM - is for, of, and inspired by the people, and they take no greater pride than being servant leaders through this venture. Their vision is to:
1) Reduce stigma about mental health in the Black community
2) Provide resources in access, utilization, and quality of mental health care
3) Increase mental health literacy (in a fun and relevant way!)
Check out their latest video: Putting Our Necks on the Line: Breathing in the Midst of Racism !!
In partnership with licensed mental health clinicians in private practice throughout the fifty states, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective provides middle and lower-income level individuals, couples, families, and children with access to affordable psychotherapy and mental health education services.As long as there is a financial need, our lifetime membership will allow you to see anyone in our network for the rates listed above. This is our guarantee. A lifetime membership only costs $59.
Talkspace is an online and mobile therapy company based in New York City. It was founded by Oren and Roni Frank in 2012. Talkspace users have access to licensed therapists through the website or mobile app on iOS and Android.
*** Resources from U-M School of Social Work via Dr. Linda Chatters
Mindfulness in Uncertain Times
Tumultuous headlines, health, and financial insecurity, isolation, family tensions… all these can leave us feeling agitated, nervous, just not ourselves. This class will provide practical support for developing a daily meditation practice that’s appropriate for you (or fine-tuning it, if you have one already); cultivating basic mindfulness skills; and applying those skills in meeting life’s challenges, to respond wisely instead of reacting impulsively.
Instructor: Barbara Newell, JD, mindfulness, and meditation teacher. Barbara trained with Thich Nhat Hanh and works regularly with nationally-recognized teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. Click here to register
These are now combined... join whichever sessions are most convenient in a given week. Still led by AACFM Teachers and other colleagues in the Ann Arbor mindfulness meditation community, we're now online. No charge.
The above sessions are accessed by the same Zoom link and meeting ID. Click https://zoom.us/j/993192822 or call 646-558-8656 and enter Meeting ID: 993 192 822
These free guided mindfulness meditations are available to anyone impacted by cancer. Beginners and experienced practitioners welcome. Visit www.cancersupportannarbor.org to get the Zoom link
Are you feeling a desire to deepen your practice and/or share with a grounded community about your experiences in quarantine? Then consider these options:
Resources for self and community care
1. RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR ETHNIC AND RACE-BASED STRESS AND TRAUMA by Dr. Parker
2. Healing Racial Trauma by Sheila Wise Rowe: The Road to Resilience
1. Black Lives Matters Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma by Dr. Candice Nicole http://drcandicenicole.com/2016/07/black-lives-matter-meditation/
2. Soulfulness 4 Life: https://soulfulness4life.com/ uses a culturally congruent approach to mindfulness
1. Liberate app: Liberate is the #1 meditation app for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community. Listen to dozens of guided meditations to ease anxiety, find gratitude, heal internalized racism and microaggressions and celebrate Blackness.
2. The Safe Place: a Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community to bring awareness, education and hope.
1. The Breakdown with Dr. Earl: A Mental Health Podcast
2. The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema
3. The Sexually Liberated Woman with Ev’Yan Whitney
4. Kindred Medicine a sacred storytelling podcast with Dr. Shena
1. Songs Giving us (Much Needed) Life by Code Switch (NPR)
** Provided by U-M SPH & SW professor Dr. Linda Chatters
Readings on trauma
On piece is on it sharing articles of videos that have images of the murder of either George Floyd or Ahmad Arbery, particularly as thumbnails. This is a trauma porn that focuses on the death of Black bodies (something we never see with white bodies). Here is an article that may be useful for non Black folks in how to not replicate trauma on social media while talking about this.
Allyship from the API Coalition in the U-M School of Social Work
This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media.
To take immediate action to fight for Breonna Taylor, please visit FightForBreonna.org.
Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children:
Articles to read:
Videos to watch:
Podcasts to subscribe to:
Books to read:
Films and TV series to watch:
Organizations to follow on social media:
More anti-racism resources to check out: