This week, our small staff gathered online and shared some of the grief, fear, anger, and hopelessness we were all feeling. We had no answers, and many questions.
How do we stand in solidarity with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others?
How do we have the necessary conversations that will change minds, hearts, and institutions?
What does real criminal justice reform look like, and what role do we play in the civil rights issue of our time?
We stand unequivocally on the side of justice for black lives. We don’t know the path forward, but we do know that it requires being accountable not just for our own actions, but for each other, and for the racist and inequitable systems that daily perpetuate violence on black and brown people.
As a beginning, we are sharing Bryan Stevenson’s incisive interview in this week’s New Yorker, on how we reckon with our history of racial injustice. As he says, changing the way we police, prosecute, judge, and punish is the essence of criminal justice reform. Just Mercy, the movie based on Bryan’s book, is also available free on digital platforms in the US throughout June.
A criminal system built on bias can’t be transformed until we dismantle institutionalized bias. Stanford Professor and MacArthur Fellow Jennifer Eberhardt is one of the world’s leading experts on racial bias. Her book Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, offers concrete tools for how we can acknowledge, understand, and diminish personal and systematic bias. In this short interview with National Public Radio, Jennifer shares how we can begin that transformation.
Words must be combined with action to make a difference. Today, we are donating to the Equal Justice Initiative and SPARQ, which uses scientific research to propel criminal justice change. We also recommend this resource for ways you can support black-led social justice organizations.
The greatest response to divisiveness, fear, and isolation is to show up and reach out to each other, again and again. We are committed to a more just world. We don’t know yet the whole of how we’ll get there, but we know we’ll have to get there together.
All of us at Idea Architects