Our communities are reeling. Our communities are also rising up for accountability, justice and healing. In light of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of the other instances of violence and racism impacting us all nationally and locally—such as the deaths of Denver-metro residents William Debose and Elijah McClain.
We, the Registered Neighborhood Organization Boards of Overland Park, Ruby Hill, Athmar Park, and Valverde, are grounded in values and actions based on compassion and inclusivity. Our hearts are breaking, and there are fires raging in our bellies to address the endemic issues of white supremacy, racism, and implicit bias plaguing our nation, our state, and our city.
We wholeheartedly stand against discrimination, racism, prejudice, persecution, or injustice in any form at both the individual and systemic levels. We commit to continuing the positive action of our neighborhood by taking an active role in this. We invite you to join us! Below are our commitments as individuals and your neighborhood Board, along with a list of resources to help us act on those commitments.
We commit to developing a better understanding of race, racism, and its impacts in America
- Read: Race and Racial Identity (a short article)
- Watch: A Conversation on Race (a series of short films)
- Listen: 1619 (a podcast on the history of slavery)
We commit to being stronger advocates in our own families, social circles, and communities by discussing race and racism with others
- Read: Talking about Race and George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement
- Listen: How To Talk To Your Kids About Race, Racism And Police Violence
- Watch (and read): “Uplifting Youth through Healthy Communication about Race” supports learning, representation, and resilience around racial identity
We commit to creating spaces of healing and connection for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) who are marginalized by racist and otherwise oppressive systems
- Create more equitable, inclusive spaces for the community
- Support the livelihoods, innovation, creativity and wisdom of members of our diverse community, such as by shopping at these Black Owned Businesses in and Around Denver
- Support businesses owned by people of color
We commit to maintaining a reflective and intersectional lens as we do this work, because this is an issue that needs to be addressed at the systemic and individual levels
- We all have a beautiful multitude of social identities, including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, gender (and gender fluidity), sexuality, ability, (and the list goes on) that weave together and influence the way other people treat us. All of these social identities are important, and we know that by addressing racism in our communities and systems, we can advance equity for everyone. Here is one meaningful example of this: the first celebration of Pride was the Stonewall riot, sparked by Marsha Johnson, a Black trans woman activist fighting against police brutality, who was then joined by countless people from the LGBTQ+ community
- Learn about and address implicit biases and consider problematic responses to difficult conversations about race (you can also read the book)
We commit to taking action to fight against oppression
- Vote for leaders who uphold equity, justice, and inclusion (register here)
- Recognize biases and inequities that are present at your organization, respond to inequities, address the systemic issues behind those inequities, and consider how those efforts will be sustained to create lasting impact
- Engage in these strategies to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
- How to Be an Anti-Racist in Denver
- Consider doing anti-racist work through one of Denver’s Boards and Commissions and/or the Citizen Oversight Board, and share these opportunities with people you know who have diverse backgrounds and experiences
- Speak with your local law enforcement agencies and advocate for these evidence-based reform measures to end police violence
- Pay attention to what your legislators are doing, and advocate for state legislation that advances social justice efforts
- Follow the suggestions of these Black leaders in our state
- Be sure to participate in the 2020 Census to help shape your community
- Donate or volunteer: NAACP’s Legal and Education Defense Fund
- Donate or volunteer: Color of Change for racial justice across multiple issues
- Encourage national leaders to support equity, inclusion and racial justice in their efforts and then hold them accountable for these efforts
Please help us to help each other to improve our neighborhoods, and create an equitable community. Thank you all for doing your part in making our communities more inclusive and just spaces.
Wishing you all grace and power.
- Overland Park Neighborhood Association Board
- Ruby Hill Neighborhood Association Board
- Athmar Park Neighborhood Association Board
- Valverde Neighborhood Association Board