Re: Quakers in Minnesota

Asha Sanaker

This is so great. And exactly the kind of community project sharing and encouragement on a local, Ithaca level that I am imagining  could come out of an ad-hoc discussion group at IMM. I have no desire to reinvent the wheel or duplicate efforts that are already being organized by other groups, particularly those led by BIPOC. But I do believe it is potentially useful to gather as Friends to discuss local efforts, think about how we might best be of use, help Friends who are unfamiliar with local efforts to get connected where they can be of use, and support/hold each other accountable for follow through.



On Tue, Jun 9, 2020 at 9:53 AM Margaret McCasland <mamccasland@...> wrote:
from the NYYM Witness Coordinating Committee

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Helen Garay Toppins <office@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 11:06 PM
Subject: Quakers in Minnesota
To: Helen Garay Toppins <office@...>

Dear Witness Friends,

The Black Concerns Committee is in communication with Friends of Color in NYYM and with Twin Cities Friends Meeting as we take into consideration as to what we would like to bring to Witness Coordinating Committee in response to racist violence.

Below is the communication sent to us from Quakers in Minnesota.
They have also informed us that they will be in contact with us after their Sunday Meeting for Business.

Responding to the police killing of George Floyd: Members of the Racial Justice Committee, like all of us at Twin Cities Friends Meeting, are reeling from the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. For Friends of color and their families, Floyd’s death is highly traumatizing and very personal. Those of us, who live in neighborhoods directly affected by the aftermath, including the Third Precinct in Minneapolis and the Hamline-Midway area of Saint Paul, are challenged as well. We have each responded in our own way(s) – protesting or supporting protesters; helping with cleanup; reinvigorating or forming block clubs; donating funds; noticing how scared and heartbroken we are and getting support from each other; spending more time in worship; checking in on our neighbors; writing letters to the editor; and engaging in educating ourselves and taking action with others to change the systemic policies, practices, and structures that have brought us to this moment. The committee has some suggestions for immediate actions and the following guidance for how to respond:

1)    The situation we are now in will need immediate and long-term support. While one-time donations or volunteer events are helpful – we need to be committed to affecting long-term healing and change.

2)    Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community leaders and organizers are making a series of direct asks right now. For those of us who identify as white, it is our responsibility to listen, take direction, and respond in the way we have been asked. It is not our place to negotiate or give suggestions/alternatives when the ask has been clearly stated. This is a subtle form of gaslighting rooted in white supremacy. Either accept or say you can’t meet the request.

Food distribution – As many of you know, there are currently no affordable grocery stores in South. Organizers are asking for groups to collect food and distribute it to the community. There are several ways in which this can be done.

■ Start challenging the dominant (white) narrative about this uprising

We have to support this movement. This means having conversations with those around you about what is happening: this is an uprising for Black liberation and justice. Their response is justified. Period. Full stop. Yes, the Twin Cities are experiencing white domestic terrorism and concurrently communities of color are experiencing a heighted level of terrorism at the hands of the police. Both of these are the same terrorism BIPOC communities have experienced from us for 500 years. All of this is happening, and we need to continue to support and center BIPOC voices, leaderships, and communities.

Please donate to the local Twin Cities AFSC Healing Justice Program – they are in the thick of this and need support.

Please donate to Twin Cities Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) – two of their programs are:
PLANT GROW SHARE (PGS) is a grassroots Food Justice Program of the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization in South Minneapolis, grounds its work on urban farming education, community building, and utilizes practices of mindfulness, grounding, circle conversations and heart opening. PGS focuses on serving low-income families and helps individuals learn to grow organic vegetables, and create brave and safe spaces for underrepresented communities to build leadership alongside our allies.
HOUSING TASK FORCE - Central Neighborhood needs secure, safe, affordable housing. - Our purpose is to work for housing stability of Central residents. Historically focused on providing grants and low interest loans to low income home owners, CANDO is also working to support the needs of renters in Central. Our strategies: organizing community members around housing quality and affordability issues. Marketing housing grants and loans to community members in need.

DISMANTLING RACISM: local community initiatives inviting support - Below is a list from the Black Visions Collective which grew out of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. This female-led collective is building African-American leadership for the long run; developing approaches to community safety which value lives over property; and addressing the environmental and ecological crisis which affects Black people disproportionately.

          Al Maa'uun -  Al Maa'uun is a nonprofit with deep roots in North Minneapolis, serving thousands of households each year with food and critical supplies.

          Black Immigrant Collective - The Black Immigrant Collective amplifies and makes visible the voices of Black immigrants in Minnesota.

          Black Table Arts - Gathering Black communities through the arts, towards better black futures.

          Black Women Speak - Gathering Black Women in Minnesota to share our experiences in order to heal, find joy and move toward liberation on our own terms!

          Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha - CTUL is a worker-led organization where workers organize, educate and empower each other to fight for a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.

         Division of Indian Work - Division of Indian Work’s mission is to support and strengthen urban American Indian people through culturally-based education, traditional healing approaches, and leadership development. We provide many services to the community but the most relevant one right now is our food shelf. 

          Femme Empowerment Project- Venmo@femmeempowermentproject. Skill shares and discussions led by and for QTIIBPOC femmes in the twin cities. Creating space for cultural resiliency, healing and ancestral wisdom. Currently organizing supplies and medic trainings. 

          Isuroon - Isuroon is a grassroots nonprofit organization working to promote the well-being and empowerment of Somali women in Minnesota and beyond.

          Joyce Preschool - Emergency fund for families who had to evacuate their homes near Lake Street last week, and who are now coming back to a devastated neighborhood with no grocery stores within walking distance. 

          Latino Community on Lake Street - Fundraiser for Latinx-owned businesses on Lake Street. 

          Little Earth Residents Association - Food and safety needs for residents of Little Earth of United Tribes.

          Migizi Communications - MIGIZI Communications advances a message of success, well-being and justice for the American Indian community. Support them rebuilding after fire.

          Minnesota Healing Justice Network - We provide a supportive professional community and mutual aid network for wellness and healing justice practitioners who also identify as IBPOC (indigenous, black, or people of color).

          Northside business support - Support businesses on Minneapolis’s Northside that have been impacted by recent demonstrations.

          Pimento Relief FundBVC is partnering with Pimento to provide black businesses without insurance relief after white supremacists set them on fire during the protests. 

          Powwow Grounds - angelswann2021@... - Native-run cafe, currently providing meals to elders, protectors and community, purchasing medical supplies, fire supplies, cooking supplies. 

          PPNA - Renters Support Fund - Operated by the Minneapolis Renters' Coalition, a group of residents, community organizations, and neighborhood organizations committed to supporting renters in our community. 

          Southside Harm Reduction- Southside Harm Reduction Services works within a harm reduction framework to promote the human rights to health, safety, autonomy, and agency among people who use substances. 

          Spiral Collective - A volunteer full-spectrum reproductive options and support group comprised of doulas, birth-workers, and passionate reproductive justice advocates. Based in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, occupied Dakhóta territories.

          TC Care Collective - South-Minneapolis based rad worker-owned childcare co-op working to provide easy access childcare by and for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and queer organizers and families.

          West Broadway Business and Area Coalition - WBC in partnership with Northside Funders Group will direct all donations to support Northside businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the recent uprising.  

          Women for Political Change - Holistically investing in the leadership and political power of young women and trans & non-binary individuals throughout Minnesota.

          Unicorn Riot - A decentralized media organization that has been live-streaming uprisings.


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