The South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race remains resolute in its commitment to intentional integration. That goal will forever remain elusive if we do not all, especially our white neighbors, commit to combating anti-Blackness specifically, alongside all other forms of racism. White people must step up and be allies in transformative ways that disempower the structures that work in their favor against Black people. Our energy cannot be spent in periodic outrage: we must use our collective outrage to change the structures that give rise to each and every act of violence and murder perpetrated against Black and Brown bodies.
This organization remains steadfastly committed to addressing this on two fronts: first, through consistent advocacy and holding those in positions of power accountable, from the police to the board of education; second, through providing continued opportunities to bring the community together in community building and dialogue. Our dialogue needs to start from a place of accepting and acknowledging that our laws and society remain profoundly racist in impact. Black Lives Matter. Today and every day.
Right now, as we face national responses to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police, we encourage our neighbors to:
- Stay informed on what your police are doing through the Maplewood Community Board on Police and the South Orange Community Police Collaborative to end racist policing
- Ask your town officials if they will perform an equity audit on different departments to see how rules, regulations, and laws might be disproportionately affecting our Black neighbors and other people of color
- Educate yourself about race and racism using tools found on our Racial Equity & Anti-Racism Resources page
- Show your commitment by visibly displaying lawn signs, writing in chalk on your driveway, or other visible ways to demonstrate support for our Black neighbors
- Support on-the-ground activists through bail funds: https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/nbfn-directory
- Ask your New Jersey representatives to co-sponsor the Omar-Pressley resolution condemning all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force
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