**If you are a Black person reading this, feel free to skip to the bottom for care resources.**
We are in a time of unrest, restlessness, and rebellion. It felt like the world stopped when the Pandemic changed how we did just about everything and took over 300,000 lives (and counting) around the world. We re-learned what we always knew.
Black people disproportionately were affected and dying from the virus -- not because they are predisposed to unhealthy lifestyles, but because of a myriad of issues all with a foundation in white supremacy:
- Bias in caretakers and providers
- Blatant disregard or indifference to complaints of Black people in medical settings
- Weathering (the effect of living in a racist society on the body, causing the predispositions to disease and chronic illness)
- Intergenerational trauma living in our DNA
- Crowded housing in segregated neighborhoods
- Parental Mortality Rate: We knew before the pandemic Black parents were 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth than white parents for the same reasons
We are dying, we are surviving, we are fighting to thrive. We are ancestors and future ancestors, here and now, in this moment of unrest and rebellion. Around the world, people are acting in solidarity with Black people and against white supremacy and its violent tools. This is about more than the murders of an unarmed George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor sleeping in her bed, Nina Pop, or Ahmaud Aubrey going for a run. It is about hundreds of years of anti-Black racism and the expectation to continue to accept the abuse. It’s about every life known and unknown, the ones caught on video and not, the communities and families who have lived in the shadow of police violence and white supremacy for as long as the history of this country.
It’s about being able to
...go for a run
...go to the store late at night
...ask for help
...be in our beds
...drive a car
...do our deliveries
...play at a playground
Not live in fear that anything can get us killed because we are Black
We say no more and never again.
Our struggle is not a separate one. Lack of access to abortion care and all forms of reproductive oppression are VIOLENCE. The state militarizing our streets and perpetrating violence against folx is UNACCEPTABLE. The indiscriminate violence against Black cis and trans women, Black children, Black cis and trans men, and Black gender nonconforming folx is UNACCEPTABLE.
We want to remind you that the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project is a not a pro-choice organization, but a Reproductive Justice organization. Reproductive Justice was created by Black women and is defined by SisterSong as the human right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we do have in safe and sustainable communities. Safe and sustainable means communities without police. We stand firm and unwavering in support of the protests for Black liberation. We stand firm and in solidarity with ALL forms of protesting for Black liberation.
We are calling on those who support RRFP to act with us in support -- especially white people and non-Black people of color. The work of dismantling white supremacy requires you all to redistribute money, leverage your power, and have hard discussions with friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. Work on your own biases and the ways in which you uphold white supremacy. We all do not matter until Black people matter. We challenge you to reconsider the language you use, whose voices you amplify, and how much space you take up. We challenge you to redistribute your resources, redistribute your access, and redistribute your positions of power to Black people. Lean hard into your discomfort. We Black people know what we need better than anyone. If you’re with us, you will push yourself to do better NOW.
What can you do?
1. Redistribute resource$ directly to Black people. Address the evils of stolen people and stolen labor by putting money directly in the hands of Black people, period.
Pay our Black Staff, The Northside Fabulous City Girls:
2. Build deep relationships with your community organizations.
Black-led & Black Liberatory Richmond Groups to support:
Richmond Mutual Aid
Direct support for/by Richmond community members (free supply delivery & mini-grants)
Richmond Doula Project
Sliding scale and free full-spectrum doula support
- Richmond for AllHousing, education, environmental, and racial justice for grassroots power citywide
Richmond Transparency and Accountability Project
Disrupting police policies procedures
Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters
Organized in memory of Marcus-David Peters
Nolef Turns, Inc.
Supporting families impacted by mass incarceration
Supporting LGBTQ+ communities of color in HIV & STI prevention, testing & linkage to care, support with housing and food pantry
Virginia Anti-Violence Project
Healing and prevention of violence against and within LGBTQ+ communities
Black Pride RVA
Improving the health and well-being of Black LGBTQ communities of greater Richmond
Richmond Community Bail Fund
Free bail and jail support 24/7 -- they’re maxed out on donations right now and asking folks to donate to others, but you should know them
Regional/National groups to know:
Southerners on New Ground: Black-led southern LGBTQ+ liberation
For The Gworls: directly supports Black trans people
BEAM: Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective
- Movement for Black Lives: Black-led movement wide strategy for Black liberation (sign the petition!)
3. Always Look for More Ways to Help:
- “What Can I Do?” resource from Patia’s Fantasy World who labored to compile this resource for both Black and non-Black folks. Be thankful by doing better.
- Ways To Help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
- #FreeThemAll: https://freethejails.carrd.co
4. To Black folks, *** caring for yourself and your loved ones ***
If you are in Richmond:
https://www.LyraParker.com is offering free chair massages to Black folk
- VAVP’s Virtual Check-In Space for Black LGBTQ+ Community Members Tuesday 6/9 at 6 pm: RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
BEAM: Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective
The Okra Project provides home-cooked meals and resources to Black trans folk
"Healing Resources for BIPOC Organizers and Allies Taking Action for Black Lives" short article followed by links to self care
- Care Package from Transgender Law Center
- Fireweed Collective: mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice lens free recorded webinars
We are blessed with a rebellious community who will live their values into the streets and through their actions. Thank you for all you do in service to Black liberation. See you on the other side.
With care, anger, grief, joy, and more --
The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project