Statement in Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

Transition Supports Black Lives Matter!

2020 has already been an extremely challenging year for nearly everyone here in the US and around the world. With over 100,000 dead from COVID-19, more than 40 million out of work, and after 10 weeks of lockdown, this country was already on edge when four Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd in broad daylight, on videotape, 10 days ago.

Since then, hundreds of American cities have been on fire, both literally and figuratively. This anger burns with the force of over 400 years of slavery, segregation, marginalization, and oppression that continues to this current day. Not only are African-Americans three times more likely to be victims of police violence, they are disproportionately likely to die from COVID-19, be unemployed as a result of the current pandemic, and suffer negative impacts from global climate change.

Racism – systemic, cultural, and personal – has existed since the very founding of this country. In many ways, we have made progress over the centuries, thanks to the courageous efforts of generations of abolitionists, civil rights leaders, and social justice activists. However, many existing systems of power continue distributing privilege and access inequitably, without recognizing the historical legacies on which they are built. We must recognize that we still have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us in order to achieve true racial equity here in the United States.

As the mainstream media continues to focus on the rioting and looting that is taking place at the same time as massive peaceful demonstrations, we all need to remember that justice is what this is really all about. Justice for George Floyd, yes, but also justice for everyone who has been brutalized by our current system, particularly young Black men and women.

We stand with all those who call out for justice and against escalating police violence in our streets. We support the Week of Action In Defense of Black Lives organized by the Movement for Black Lives and the petition currently being circulated by Black Lives Matter to demilitarize law enforcement and invest in Black communities.

As representatives of a primarily white, older, and middle-class social movement that is actively working to broaden inclusion, celebrate diversity, and embody our commitment to justice in everything we do, we recognize that we need to be humble, listen closely to what Black leaders are saying, and provide support (not direction).

Two weeks ago, about 10 members of our staff, national Collaborative Design Council, and Social Justice Working Group participated in the first session of Movement Generation’s Course Correction series on “Just Transition in the Age of COVID-19.” We enrolled in this course and created a discussion group around it because we know we have much to learn from BIPOC-led organizations like MG that are cultivating justice while building community resilience, not as two separate aims, but as part of one fully integrated process.

We at Transition US know we still have a long way to go in becoming the change we want to see in the world, but we are committed to that journey. We invite all members of our network to learn with us, grieve with us, march with us, pray with us, and share your thoughts and opinions with us during this very frightening and painful time.

In Solidarity,

Carolyne Stayton, Executive Director

Don Hall, Assistant Director

Marissa Mommaerts, National Network Organizer

Ratih Sutrisno, Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Mark Juedeman, Board Chair

Samantha Wechsler, Board of Directors

Erik Lindberg, Board of Directors

Lisa Lin, Board of Directors

Leslie MacKenzie, Collaborative Design Council

Jul Bystrova, Collaborative Design Council, Inner Resilience Network, and Social Justice Working Group

William Mutch, Collaborative Design Council, Social Justice Working Group, and Transition Palo Alto

Theo Talcott, Collaborative Design Council, Social Justice Working Group, and Transition Town Manchester

Shaktari Belew, Collaborative Design Council

Ayako Nagano, Social Justice Working Group and Transition Berkeley

David Cobb, Collaborative Design Council, Politics & Policy in Transition, and Cooperation Humboldt

John Foran, Collaborative Design Council, Politics & Policy in Transition, Transition U, and the Eco Vista Transition Initiative

Kaat Vander Straeten, Collaborative Design Council and Transition Wayland

Galen Meyers, Collaborative Design Council

Karen Tuininga, Collaborative Design Council and Transition Town Charlotte

Jess Parfrey, Collaborative Design Council and the Eco Vista Transition Initiative

Paul Carlson, Collaborative Design Council and Transition U

Shelley Buonaiuto, Collaborative Design Council


Five Actions You Can Take

 

Black Lives Matter


1. Sign petitions. Here are some starting points:

2. Learn with us. Join us in participating in Movement Generation’s Course Correction series on “Just Transition in the Age of COVID-19"!

3. Engage in courageous conversations. Ask the following:

  • What can you do to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in your community?
  • What local policies can you support to help end police brutality?
  • How do you plan to help end racial discrimination and systemic oppression?
  • What do you need to learn more about?

4. Support the Week of Action In Defense of Black Lives, organized by the Movement for Black Lives.

5. Register to vote.

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