Resources I Find Helpful.

on July 8, 2016 in Culture Matters with 9 comments by

Friends.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this week has been disturbing and heartbreaking and sadly culturally shifting. Even now, as I type, the interstate in Atlanta is shut down with protestors.

And I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. It feels so big and scary and out of control. I don’t know how to help heal a nation of centuries worth of racism and systemic preferences and to make our black friends feel heard and safe and loved AND make our police feel safe and respected and…. sigh. It’s all so hard, y’all.

Luckily, there are a lot of good people on the planet who are smarter and braver than me having conversations that I want to listen to and be a part of. And all I’ve known to do is read and learn and connect with people that are different than me.

So here’s what I wanted to do tonight and share with you, friends. I’ve tried to collect up the resources that I have found really helpful this week and that I know can be trusted. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single tweet or line of an article, but all are worth checking out if you, like me, are so deeply saddened and ready to be a part of the change.

. . . . .

Each of these people are helping lead the racial reconciliation conversation and have, in the last week, taken even more important steps to helping make things different. Black, white, police families. These are voices I trust and think you should be following:

Michael Wear

Adam A.T. Thomason

Michelle Higgins

Deidra Riggs

Ashley Noelle

Propaganda

Trip Lee

Latasha Morrison

Also, you can follow the #solidarityispower hashtag to be connected with the conversation about what we can do to move forward, with Christ, towards healing and helping.

. . . . .

Here are three recorded conversations that you should make time for as soon as possible:

Priscilla Shirer’s periscope

Adam and Michael’s recorded call

IF:Gathering conversation 

HopeMob panel discussion

Andy Stanley with Sam Collier & Joseph Sojourner

. . . . .

After listening to the call with Adam and Michael (and many other wise voices), I loved that they gave us actual action steps to be a part of the solution. Here they are.

  1. Find your state representatives at openstates.org.
  2. Call or email your state reps and tell them that it matters to you that they act on racism in law enforcement. Tell them it’s a voting matter to you. When I composed my emails, I asked my two reps if they had a suggestion on how I could be a part of the solution for my area.
  3. Then share on social media when you do so that your followers will know a legitimate action step. Use the hashtag #solidarityispower.

. . . . .

I like these organizations and what they are doing to continue this conversation:

Campaign Zero

Q Ideas

Be The Bridge

Police One

HopeMob

ANDCampaign

. . . . .

Just to be clear. I really want you to hear this. I called friends today that are connected to police departments for some resources and asked how we can partner with them as well. The answers were the same- because police aren’t really allowed to talk about any of the things that are going on, there aren’t many blogposts or websites or movements. The reason there aren’t more links to that is because they don’t exist (at least, not that I was told about by trusted friends).

But I want my Nashville police to feel like I love and support them as well. So at the suggestion of a policeman’s wife, next week I’m going to deliver a card and some treats to my local police department.

So maybe there is some way you and your kids and your friends could thank your local police?

. . . . .

I don’t know very much about how to help this situation, people. But I promise you I’m committed to this conversation in ways I haven’t been before. Forgive me for that. Forgive me for letting this issue swirl around me and staying quiet about it, but I can’t anymore. I’m not full of the answers, but I’m asking a lot of new questions, making new friends, and jumping into conversations I was afraid to engage with before.

I felt like this was hopeless and America is too big for me to make a difference. But then I heard Michael Wear say, “You are not powerless. You have an awesome God who is on the side of justice.” And then I thought, “I may not be able to change every city in the nation, but I bet I can get involved in some small way in my town of Nashville.” So I’ll take treats to police and pray for my black friends and our churches and keep reading and learning and talking to new people and seeing what it looks like for me to be a part of changing the trajectory of this story. We must, y’all. We must get involved.

Do y’all have resources that you have found helpful this week?

People to follow?

Articles to read?

Please leave the links below.

Guide us, O thou great Jehovah.

. . . . .

9 comments

  1. Alisa
    posted on Jul 08, 2016 at 10:47 PM  |  reply

    Annie, my friend and her kids took a care package and a thank you card to her local police department. She said, “I got some packs of nuts, granola bars, meat sticks, cookies and some smart water. Tried to stick to things they could grab and take with them and offer some healthy options.” This is a great first step on this side of things that is something tangible.

  2. posted on Jul 09, 2016 at 7:15 AM  |  reply

    […] Resources I Find Helpful for Racial Reconciliation by Annie F. Downs […]

  3. Whitney Fahner
    posted on Jul 09, 2016 at 7:47 AM  |  reply

    The AndCampaign had a prayer gathering last night in Atlanta and it was one of the most profound freeing times of being with such a diverse group of Christians. They are a movement gaining ground in the area that wants to be committed to values and social justice. They too are using the #solidarityispower to help spread actionable directions. To learn more visit their website at http://theandcampaign.com/#campaignhome

  4. Chris Hardy
    posted on Jul 09, 2016 at 10:28 AM  |  reply

    Annie,
    Thanks for this helpful information. I’m a stand-in teacher tomorrow for our college class at Westover Church, and because of this national turmoil, I simply have to engage the topic with our students. I’ve felt led to facilitate a discussion with them on how the Gospel impacts what’s going on, what we say, and how we respond. But our want our discussion to lead to more than just words . . .we need Gospel-centered action that displays the reconciling, truthful, all encompassing love that is inherent in the lives of those turned right-side up by this Good News! Anyhow, my wife Traci [who works for Emily Freeman btw, and we met you at Em’s “Simply Tuesday” party at The Nester’s Barn] sent me your post this morning. What you’ve gathered is EXACTLY what I was looking for to share with our students. These are tangible actions that all of us can take as we allow the Gospel to transform our heart, our minds, AND our hands. I just wanted to say thanks.
    Committed with you in taking these actions,
    Chris

  5. Lisa
    posted on Jul 09, 2016 at 11:40 AM  |  reply

    Annie, thank you for this. I have felt so overwhelmed and powerless to help this week. I appreciate all of the links and practical suggestions to help me DO SOMETHING.

  6. posted on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:34 AM  |  reply

    My grandchildren, at their own suggestion, delivered two boxes of fresh doughnuts to their police department last week with the message, “WE APPRECIATE YOU.” The officers were rather blown away. #justdosomething

  7. posted on Jul 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM  |  reply

    So thankful for this. Thank you so much!

  8. posted on Jul 13, 2016 at 6:04 AM  |  reply

    […] Emily P. Freeman and Annie F. Downs […]

  9. posted on Jul 15, 2016 at 7:09 AM  |  reply

    Thank you for stepping up to the plate and being honest as a woman of God, a mother, a wife, a friend, a civic minded neighbor aND a person with the will to influence those in your circle. We women and mothers and sisters could have made a difference long ago but fear stopped us, this male dominated society made us mind our own business. Now it is everyone’s business. Finally, we are now available and ready to talk. God bless you. I love you.

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