As of September, 2020, Decatur Makers is speaking with consultants to help us assess the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work we need to better support our makers of color from an organizational perspective.
In the mean time:
- We began diversifying our Board and Staff,
- Several of our Board members, our Executive Director, and members of our community are participating in the Seeing Whiteness for Anti-Racist Action workshop offered by our good friends at the Decatur Education Foundation,
- We’re partnering with the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights team on their “Art for the People” public art project as a platform to educate the community about systemic racism and colonialism, as well as to share stories about the beauty and strength of indigenous people and people of color. As part of this project, we’re in discussions with the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) to support larger community expression through art/making.
There is much work to do, and we are committed to listening, learning, and staying present and engaged to take down the barriers to equity and inclusivity while creating a space that is anti-racist and welcoming to all makers.
June 5, 2020 post:
It’s a very challenging time, with so many angry, sad, frustrated feelings, and many from our maker community are really hurting. Decatur Makers wants to be clear that we stand in solidarity with the Black Community in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
We believe that the injustices against people of color have no place in our world, our country, or in our community. Our stance has always been to foster a place where ALL makers feel welcomed and accepted regardless of background, race, gender, lifestyle, skill sets, experience, or age.
As an organization, our focus is to empower people to create and learn through hands-on experiences, providing the opportunity to positively impact their lives. We intentionally engage a wonderfully diverse community with an inclusive culture.
The only way to truly honor our mission is to embrace advocacy as integral to our work; We are listening to the pain and struggles of our community, and actively looking into how our own organization’s processes and practices need to change. Our Board and Staff recognize that we need to do more to support racial equity and anti-racism through our organization leadership, our membership, community events, classes, and in our outreach programming. We want all makers to feel safe, welcomed, inspired and supported in an equitable environment to develop the skills to make an impact as change agents in our world.
We support our makers of color, of all ages, who are part of our membership, and in the communities and schools with whom we partner, in this movement to end systematic racism.
With love to all,
The Decatur Makers Team
Ways we can support anti-racism and racial justice:
- Safely protesting is an excellent way to physically show your solidarity.
- Offer a listening ear without pity or judgement. Getting to know someone of color may change your perspective on how you view African Americans. Ask questions, it’s okay.
- Understanding that silence on the issue of racism means dismissing it, it is okay to have a difficult conversation with your children, parents, and peer groups.
- If you have the opportunity to employ a person of color, do so.
- Educate yourself on the origins of racism and why it exists.
- Consider your personal beliefs on stereotypes and examine any falsehoods that exists.
- Know that YOU have the power to shift the oppression of an entire race of people that do not deserve the treatment that has been forced upon them.
- It is alright if you do not have the right words to say to your friends; Let them know you support them with more than your words.
- What you do in times of crisis reflects your truth.
- Educate yourself on platforms of your government representatives and candidates, at all levels, and vote!
- Donate to and volunteer with organizations that support anti-racism and racial justice.
- Consider donating to organizations with whom we partner that support people of color: International Rescue Committee, Jerusalem House, Friends of Refugees, Decatur Education Foundation, DeKalb Library Foundation, Decatur Arts Alliance.
Below are a few (of many) resources to share if you want to educate yourself, take action, and support critical initiatives:
Rachel Cargle, activist building an intellectual legacy through teaching, storytelling & critical discourse, offers many, varied resources here, including link to “75 Things White People Can Do Racial Justice”, and FREE #DoTheWork self-directed 30 day course (Mailchimp sign up link) to help white people be intentional in breaking down the systems that continue to oppress and disenfranchise the black community with black women being the most effected.
Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, stands in solidarity with underrepresented communities by embodying, supporting, and engaging in work that helps to defeat injustice and build an equitable society.
Many, varied resources to educate, to donate, to volunteer, for voting, etc. gathered by a Georgia Tech student
Designed for parents, virtual event from PBS Kids: Talking to Children Authentically About Race and Racism
Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund to support Black folks in Atlanta who have endured economic hardship during the COVID19 pandemic.
Atlanta Magazine’s “Where to Donate to Support Atlantans Fighting for Racial Justice”
Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and their link for help in offering Access to Resources from Non-Black Folks in Atlanta
Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support people in Atlanta who have been arrested for taking action against social injustice. Focused primarily on bailing out arrestees with priority for those who have the most need.
National Lawyers Guild coordinates legal defense, bail funds, running hotlines and coordinating legal observers at protests across nationwide.