Thank you to everyone who attended the WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh Open Meeting on July 11 in the wake of the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. If you couldn’t attend, but were interested – we thank you too. Nearly 100 people came together for this gathering and we’re especially grateful to those who traveled a distance to be there.
Here’s a recap: We started the meeting with Beliefs and Agreements and we shared a resource sheet that we’ve since update. Please share it, copy it, print it, spread it to folks you know who are looking to get connected to the movement.
Then we split into three groups:
“How Do I Begin?” – Learning Group
We encourage you to read the article that the group discussed. Then share it! And consider getting involved with Study Group – see more info below.
From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: the life-long journey by Tema Okun, dRworks
“What Do We Do Next?” – Planning and Action Group
- Want to do street theater? There is a group forming to do street theater and talk to people about racism at Open Streets on the North Side July 31st and at other occasions, contact K.T. at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
- Working on a rap sheet for Zappala, and just generally making his life more miserable. Wanna help? Contact email@example.com.
- There is a group developing a letter writing template and they will share it when it happens!
- Study group looking to start possibly in September, nine people from the meeting want to do it, do you? Check out past study groups on our https://wwhatsup.wordpress.com/studygroup/ and let us know if you’re interested. Also let us know if you have participated before (or in other anti-racism training) and are willing to take a lead role as coordinator/facilitator this fall. If there is enough capacity, we might be able to have multiple groups.
“How Do I Find Healing?”
This group was facilitated by a multi-racial team (thank you Mary Parker!) and was a space to process emotions.
Something We Didn’t Have Time to Talk About at the Meeting
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is is the fundraising arm of WHAT’S UP?!. Donors can make one time or monthly online contributions, or add to the fund during meetings. Once a quarter, the CORE committee chooses one or more organizations, causes, individual needs, or projects benefitting people of color. By pooling our money, we are able to have a larger impact than if we donated individually. If everyone who attended Monday’s meeting signed up to give $10 each month, we’d have over $1000 to give away.
Many of us give monthly to PYMWYM, and also donate whenever we can to local and national causes. SURJ publishes a list of Black-led organizations, and your Facebook feed is likely to offer many opportunities to address urgent community needs.
In addition to financial contributions, we can volunteer to provide childcare at community meetings, cook, make deliveries, or offer general support for efforts and actions led by people of color.
So what’s next?
First, stay connected and STAY COMMITTED. Make sure you’re signed up on WHAT’S UP?!’s announcement list. Think about participating in Study Group in the fall.
If you’re ready and willing to be more connected, email Tiffany firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on the WHAT’S UP?! email discussion list. This one is more active, but you can still change your settings to get summaries if that’s best for you.
Revisit the resource sheet and tap into more of the learning and organizations on there.
Finally, SHOW UP this week on Thursday, July 21 for the Black Lives Matter National Day of Action
(non-Facebook users should be able to see this event page too)
This is a crucial time and we need everyone to join us in taking responsibility for undoing white supremacy. Thank you again for engaging.
In solidarity, WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh