“The only way to survive is together.” -Grace Lee Boggs
Dear FOSC Community,
We are outraged and grief-stricken by the latest racist murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and the anti-blackness that continues to exist in the outdoors and within naturalist communities.
We emphatically affirm that Black Lives Matter. We must do better. We at Friends of Sausal Creek will further our understanding of systemic racism, anti-Blackness, our own white privilege, and how this informs our work in our communities. And we will act on these insights and conversations with partners. We have the unique opportunity to work in the Sausal Creek Watershed which runs from the hills to the flatlands in Oakland and passes through communities of different privileges, races, and classes. We will increase our outreach and engagement with Black youth and community members who have not historically had access to nor felt safe in the parks and green spaces of Oakland. We care deeply for the world and environment around us, and we know that the health of our watersheds and landscapes is intimately connected to the health and wellbeing of our community members. We cannot care for one without the other.
People continue to take to the streets around the country and we are all witnessing and engaging in a time of transformation, pain, anguish and growth. We take hope that the mass outpouring of activism and protests are galvanizing us for the hard work of authentic change.
We are inspired by the advice from Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation:
Support and listen to Black people in your organizations and communities. We are not ok, and we know a little something about what is going on.
See young people and support their mobilization.
Ask more questions, but more importantly take more action.
We want to encourage conversation and support each other in sustained reflection and action. For those who are interested, read on and join us as we share a few resources and ideas.
Listen, Learn and Reflect:
This Anti-Racist Resource List compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein contains recommendations for white parents about talking with their children about anti-racism. It also includes: film and print resources and organizations working on anti-racist practices.
Compiled by organizers from the National Bail Out Fund, Black Visions Collective, and Campaign Zero, the Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resource was created to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and committed to anti-racist work.
For a resource list of select readings specific to racism and racial justice in the outdoors and Black environmentalism click here.
Act for Justice:
Speak up. Have the hard conversations with your family and community. Let’s be honest about where we have failed. As a community we can face the errors and injustice of our society and work towards reparations, right relationships, and restoration
Support. Donate to Black community organizations, memorial funds, movements, bail funds and initiatives. Amplify Black voices and the messages of Black-led groups and journalists
Get creative in responding to crisis. Consider some alternatives to calling the police and invoking a system that has been a death sentence for so many. Advocate for new models of public safety and public health.
Join us as we all work together to realize a just world.
FOSC Staff and Board of Directors