Written By: Linda Novick O’Keefe
Common Threads Co-Founder & CEO
April 22, 2021
Like many people across our country, we were relieved to see the guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin earlier this week. This was an important step in calling for accountability from members of the law enforcement community and seeking justice for George Floyd and the many other Black men, women and children who have been murdered or harmed in incidents motivated by race, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Daunte Wright.
There are many ways to serve the movement of racial justice. Protests take many different shapes and forms. From dinner tables to conference rooms, from classrooms to boardrooms, it takes each of us to work together to make progress. I have been grateful and humbled to see our team, our family of partners, colleagues across the country and elected officials, supporting each other and our shared ideas, listening more and learning collectively.
We can continue making a difference by using our voices to speak up for what is right and investing time and resources to eradicate the deep-rooted effects of systemic racism in our communities. We must continue declaring both that Black Lives Matter and that racism is a public health crisis. The work ahead of us is overwhelming, and it’s evidenced by the many incidents of violence against Black Americans that continue to permeate communities across the country.
George Floyd’s daughter Gianna stated that her father would “change the world,” and we remain hopeful that this week’s verdict will be the catalyst for many positive changes. In Mr. Floyd’s memory, we must continue to work for justice for every American, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, income level, ZIP code, or any other factor.
As an important step in remembering Mr. Floyd and seeking systemic change, we encourage people to call their senators (202-224-3121) to ask them to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that was passed by the House last month and would introduce important national reforms to reduce police brutality directed at Black men, women and children.
Additionally, we encourage everyone to continue showing their support by educating themselves and investing in nonprofit organizations and businesses that support the Black community. We must also recognize the severe trauma these incidents have created, and allow ourselves time to breathe, process and heal from these horrifying events. If you need community, to discuss history, or to hear personal experiences and ideas on how to move forward together, we have shared some resources below. We encourage you to contact us should you have additional resources we can add to the list.
We represent many different backgrounds, but we have so much in common: community, family, love and human vulnerability. These are our strengths that connect us all and hold our great big world together.
Organizations, Resources & Movements
- Anti-Racism Project
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Mental Health Matters
- Campaign Zero (ending police violence)
- Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Mass General
- Stand Against Racism (YWCA)
- Southern Poverty Law Center
Articles, Videos & Books
- Racism’s Corrosive Impact on the Health of Black Americans (CBS 60 Minutes)
- 100 Actions to take action against racism, help Black organizations and learn to be anti-racist (USA Today)
- Black History & Revolutionary Texts (Google Doc)
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults (Common Sense Media)
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance (Embrace Race)
- Your Age by Age Guide to Talking to Children About Race (Parents.com)
- Racial Trauma in Film: How Viewers Can Address Re-traumatization (Northwestern University)
- Confronting Prejudice: How to Protect Yourself and Help Others (Pepperdine University)
ABOUT COMMON THREADS
Common Threads is a national nonprofit that provides children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. We equip under-resourced communities with information to make affordable, nutritious and appealing food choices wherever they live, work, learn, and play. We know that food is rooted in culture and tradition so we promote diversity in our lessons and recipes, encouraging our participants to celebrate the world around them.