Take Action Against Racism

Racism is the root cause of homelessness for the overwhelming majority of the young people we serve at Safe Place for Youth. As a SPY community, we have to fight for racial justice, teach love to our children, and challenge the institutions that have created and normalized the violence and inequality in our country. SPY exists to lift up, empower, and fight for those who have been most oppressed, and we will not stop until the playing field has been leveled and every young person has equal opportunity to thrive. 

Join us in taking action against racism now.

Commemorate Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the US. While Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the decree took two-and-a-half years to fully enact. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas telling nearly 250,000 enslaved people that they were officially free. All but four states currently recognize Juneteenth and there have been multiple congressional attempts to recognize the date as an official holiday, but so far none have been successful. 

Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the strength of the Black community and their continued contributions to fight for equality and justice in the United States. It is more important than ever that we continue to lift up the voices in this community and advocate for continued change to finally dismantle the systemic racism that has infected our country for so long.

What is Juneteenth?

Junteenth.com

Demand Change: Six Nineteen

Check out this interactive Juneteenth tour put together by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Advocate

Get involved in local legislation and policy. The City of Los Angeles is in the process of creating a new budget for the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would look to “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing.” You can read more about it in the LA Times. Now is not the time to slow down. Lend your voice to the efforts of The People's Budget and call your councilmember's office regarding the City of Los Angeles proposed budget. The city council will be meeting on June 8, 15, 22, and 29 to continue making revisions to the proposed budget.

CURB, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, are working as part of the powerful national movement to divest from incarceration and invest in public health. Read their #Budget2SaveLives report here.

JusticeLA is a coalition that works to "reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care." Learn more about the organization and take a look at their Care First Budget.

Take a look at the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group. The ATI Work Group is working to provide the LA County Board of Supervisors with an actionable plan so that care is provided before jail.

Sign this petition: Justice for George Floyd

Raise your voice. If you’re protesting, take a look at these safety tips from Amnesty International. 

Make your money count by spending intentionally and supporting Black-owned businesses. For starters, the LA Times compiled this list of Black-owned restaurants across Southern California.

Reflect

Teach & Learn. It’s never too early, or too late, to educate someone or to expand our own knowledge or perspective. As parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends - we all play a variety of unique roles in life. We urge you to communicate the importance of love and equality, as often as possible. Be open to learning from others. Encourage schools, religious institutions, and businesses to do the same. It’s going to take every single one of us to make a lasting change. While we can’t all do everything, we can all do something.

Have conversations with your loved ones, friends, and family...even if they are difficult and uncomfortable. “10 Ways to Have a Conversation about Race” from Race Forward can help you get started.

Racial Healing.  As you engage in this work it is important to note that a lot of trauma and blame may come up. You may wish to stop because the work becomes too hard. We encourage you as allies to continue and realize that people of color are constantly having to do this work each day. You can check out a great reading called My Grandmothers Hand: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem to support your growth in this work.

Share. The Good Good Co has put together a beautiful post on “How to Become actively anti-racist.” It summarizes an essay by acclaimed professor Ibram X. Kendi for the New York Times. Read it. Share it.

Read one of the many books out there including When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors or Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde or White Like Me: Reflections on Race from A Privileged Son, ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta Nehisi Coats.

Listen. NPR’s Code Switch. Each episode is worth a listen, but their recent episode: “A Decade of Watching Black People Die,” is especially important.

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

1619 Podcast

Watch.

When they See Us and 13th on Netflix.

Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu or Prime.

I Am Not Your Negro on Prime.

Follow

Use social media to stay engaged and informed. Here are some suggested organizations to follow:

Black Lives Matter

Showing Up for Racial Justice: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Safe Place for Youth: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

Donate

Make a donation to support an organization. In addition to the work we do at SPY, these are some of the other organizations that we’re supporting as we continue to fight for equality. 

If you’re financially able—setting up a recurring donation is a great way to provide continuous support.

Black Lives Matter LA

Campaign Zero

ACLU and their Southern California Chapter

NAACP and their LA chapter

Thank you for standing in solidarity with us as we demand justice, take action, and teach love.  Together, as a SPY community, we can help create a future where everyone is equal. Enough is enough. 

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

- Edward Everett Hale