People and Places on our Minds and in our Hearts

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People and places on our minds and in our hearts this week

The Caribbean has been getting battered; two earthquakes have hit Mexico in the last couple of weeks; on the U.S. mainland, people of color continue to face systemic violence. In other words, we’re both feeling a bit helpless and distraught. So for our links round-up this week, we’d like to offer some options for sending support, no matter where you are.

Transwomen of color facing violence

Earlier this month, Derricka Banner was killed in North Carolina and was at least the 20th trans person murdered in 2017. The “at least” refers to the fact that there are factors that keep us from having an accurate count of how many trans people are subject to such violence. Transwomen of color are particularly vulnerable to such violence. We want here to mention some of their names–to speak them into our collective memory–and then suggest some ideas about what you can do.  

Kiwi Herring (St. Louis, MO)

Ciara McElveen (New Orleans, LA)

Ebony Morgan (Lynchburg, VA)

Josie Berrios (Ithaca, NY)

Jojo Striker (Toledo, OH)

What to do:

  1. Learn more about these women and others affected by violence targeting trans people.
  2. Donate to Transwomen of Color Collective, “a grass-roots funded global initiative created to offer opportunities for trans people of color, our families and our comrades to engage in healing, foster kinship, and build community.”
  3. Donate to Trans United Fund, an organization “committed to building the political power of trans and gender expansive communities and our allies to advocate for trans equality.”

 

People in St. Louis who are protesting a not guilty verdict for a police officer who shot and killed a Black man

We stand in support of and in solidarity with the folks in St. Louis expressing their sorrow and outrage at yet another case of a police officer not being held accountable for the shooting death of a Black person. This time, it was Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer who was acquitted of first-degree murder charges in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

What to do:

  1. Learn more about the case, why the protests are happening, and the broader situation in St. Louis.
  2. Donate to Organization for Black Struggle, an organization that aims to “build a movement that fights for political empowerment, economic justice and the cultural dignity of the African-American community, especially the Black working class.”
  3. Donate to ArchCity Defenders, a “non-profit civil rights law firm providing holistic legal advocacy and combating the criminalization of poverty and state violence against poor people and people of color.”
  4. Go to a screening near you of the documentary, “Whose Streets?”

 

People affected by earthquakes and hurricanes in Latin America and the Caribbean

Tuesday’s earthquake near Mexico City struck two weeks after another (the strongest in a century) earthquake hit the country (epicenter off the Pacific coast). You can follow Luis Felipe Puente, the national coordinator for civil protection, to see updates as well as suggestions for how to help. If you decide to send money, you should consider Los Topos, a group that originated after the 1985 earthquake; it’s pretty easy to donate to them through paypal.

Puerto Rico: as this twitter thread points out, the devastation in P.R. right now is not just due to the natural disaster that is Hurricane Maria but also to long-term colonial economic practices. At the moment of this writing, sources are suggesting the power might be down there for as many as three months! And, of course, Puerto Rico is not alone in needing our help; Dominica and Barbuda have also been hit very hard. A friend of ours suggests donations could go here http://www.americares.org/en/. Another recommended place to donate is Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund ( see here for more info). 

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