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Racial Injustice, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

Published on 6/8/2020

To:  Members and all interested readers
From:  Dr. Gloria Pickar and Sandi Vidal, Co-Presidents
Memo:  Racial Injustice, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
In this time of crisis and chaos around the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd killing, we are mindful of our responsibility as a local League to effectively use our voices and get on with doing the work for diversity, equity, and inclusion while we also keep doing the work to turn out the vote.
There is great danger in this time of crisis but there is also much opportunity. Opportunity to shine a light on the power of voting. Opportunity to take a stand together for racial justice and turn our rage into positive change. We continue to believe that voter registration and turnout are our most effective means of responding as a League. We acknowledge that the most powerful tool we have for change is the vote. But that is not all.
Protests continue. You may plan to exercise your First Amendment right to march, speak out, and follow up in the protest aftermath. If you have not already seen it, please read the recent email message from our LWVUS President Chris Carson. She is clear that we have the right to protest and the right to represent the League as we stand up, step up, and speak out.
Besides marching, there are other ways you can get involved. We are creating a list of activities you can join and we want to hear your ideas, so that we can share a selection of them in our Newsletter. To begin, our Hot Topics team is working on a dialogue for us to listen and learn about these recent events and the systemic racism in our community. If interested, please step up to help.
Here are some other ideas to get us started. Please contact us if you have others HERE
  1. Read books about racial injustice. Let's get better educated. Create a reading list and expand our Reading Group. Our History Committee has been working on this for months with their Women's Lost History series that has focused on racial injustice and women's suffrage. What are good books you can recommend? Here are a few that have been recommended to us.
  2. Check out these articles. 
  3. Get ready to learn, discuss, and act. Consult the Racial Equity Hub.
  4. Watch some documentary films. 
    • Just Mercy about the Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stephenson; it is free right now.
    • 13th, an analysis of the criminalization of African Americans and the prison boom; available on Netflix.
    • Selma about the historic march of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers from Selma to Montgomery; also free now.
  5. Tune in to TED Talks. Start with Bryan Stephenson presents We Need to Talk About Injustice.
  6. Support our League's Online Voter Registration & Vote-By-Mail Task Force. Share our Voting Info page on your social media. Step up for safe voting by actively promoting our Vote-By-Mail campaign. Speak out for voting as a safe and effective way to protest and make change happen. Vote like your life depends on it.
  7. Speak out about the importance of the 2020 Census.  Our local funding for social justice programs is at stake.  We are at an abysmal 57.5% census completion rate for Orange County with Florida reporting about how we protect it and our role to increase the numbers who exercise it.

These are recommendations we've received from members.If you have more, please forward them to
  1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander
  2. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Amazing Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  3. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  4. Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
  5. Passing by Nella Larsen