We stand in solidarity with our black readers, friends and community members at this time of tremendous pain. Our nation has been reeling with accounts of grave injustice within our criminal justice system over the last decade, made all the more traumatic and impactful through video footage captured by our communities. Our greatest hope in this time is that this intense period of protests around our country give way to a long period of substantial institutional reforms.
As former President Barack Obama spoke in this important article in Medium earlier today, “The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.” He later goes on to note, “…the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”
We echo this call to civic engagement in our local communities, as well as Obama’s call to keep ourselves bound to the standards we wish to uphold; “let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”
At The Chalkboard, we don’t often veer into politics, however, our desire to stand in solidarity with our team members, readers, and communities of color who may be feeling vulnerable, hopeless or alone, outweighed our desire to stay in our lane. In the coming days, we will be modifying our editorial calendar with resources we think will serve our community best at this time. We are a guide to living well. Right now, the very right to life itself must be spoken for. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We welcome your feedback, as well as comments about what kinds of resources you’d like to have at this time. If you’re looking for a place to start to turn heartbreak, frustration, overwhelm and hope for change into actionable reform, one of the best resources we’ve found yet this week is Obama’s Advocacy Toolkit for Fair Safe and Effective Community Policing.