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.
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.
Check out this interactive Juneteenth tour put together by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Attend a local Juneteenth celebration. Check out this list from the LA Daily News, compiling Juneteenth Celebrations around Los Angeles.
Get - and stay - involved in local legislation and policy. SPY is proud to join the Bring CA Home Coalition. Homelessness isn’t color blind. We know racism is a root cause of homelessness—the legacy of decades of disinvestment in communities of color. As a part of Bring CA Home, we are calling for bold, systemic investments to ensure all Californians have a safe place to call home.
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.
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."
Take a look at the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative. The ATI is working to provide the LA County Board of Supervisors with an actionable plan so that care is provided before jail.
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.
Be intentional with teaching younger generations. Build social justice in the classroom with Teaching for Change.
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 Grandmother's 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, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation by Kwame Ture and Charles Hamilton, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley.
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
When they See Us and 13th on Netflix.
Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu or Prime.
I Am Not Your Negro on Prime.
Use social media to stay engaged and informed. Here are some suggested organizations to follow:
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
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.
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