Be the Change–Voting Rights
The other day Billie Wade and I met on Zoom to talk about collaborating around issues facing Black people in this 21st Century. Issues Black people have been dealing with for centuries. Listening to the news today as I drove home from lunch in Ankeny, I realized how important this new endeavor is! Iowa Public Radio addressed two of our top issues–both fair housing and education in less than an hour.
Billie and I discussed ways we can collaborate to educate and inspire people to action. Somehow the racial justice book club we had was not enough. It brought us up to speed on some of the challenges, but left us feeling frustrated and powerless.
So we’re rolling out a series of “Zoom Workshops” to study individual issues in more depth, and talk about some routes to action. Or maybe just one; we’ll see how it goes. We’re starting with voting rights because this election is of crucial importance to rights for Black people, and to support and act on the conviction that Black Lives Matter.
No matter how this 2020 election goes, we’ll still need to talk about the issues Black people face, learn more, and figure out how we can activate our local, state and national governments in some way.
So, here’s the format. We’ll post a topic to the Next Step Blog a few weeks ahead of the discussion (that’s what you’re reading), with a list of resources we recommend to help you get up to speed for the discussion. Whether you can attend the live Zoom or not, these resources can expand your knowledge and give you ideas for how to be the change.
- Let People Vote, ACLU
- Movie, Selma, Ava DuVernay, 2014
- Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight initiative website
- Gary May, Bending Toward Justice
- Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote Initiative website
- Oprah’s Own Your Vote initiative website, National Town Meeting September 24, 2020
To be part of the discussion, you’ll need to register for the event at least 24 hours ahead of time. Be the Change—Voting Rights will–
- Take place Tuesday, October 20, 2020, from 7:30-9 pm, via Zoom. It will be recorded and posted to a secure site where only those who registered can view it.
- Have a registration fee of $15, which gives you access to the live and recorded sessions; REGISTER HERE!
- Include an overview of the issue with Billie & Martha, open conversation in groups of no more than 7 people, and a discussion about opportunities for action
Potential Topics for future “Be the Change” workshops are–
- Mental Health
- Women’s rights
- Fairness in Education
- Employment and fair wages
- Family strengths
- Fair housing
- Equity in the Justice System
- Police reform
We chose Voting Rights as the topic for our first workshop because we’ll still have a few weeks before November 3, 2020 to take some action. I’m very excited as I write this; action is a great antidote to feelings of powerlessness. Join us!