Monthly Scoop: June 2020

Dear Friends,

We have all experienced difficult times during this pandemic. The death rate from COVID-19 is heartbreaking, and reopening our economy has been a struggle. Our new routines are anything but normal. Added to that, the death of George Floyd has elevated the outrage, sadness, and calls for police reform and for systemic change with regard to equity, equality, justice, and racism. The need for a national response has been overwhelming.

Our June meeting was an attempt to address this and begin a dialogue that can educate us, provide greater empathy, take us out of our comfort zone, and encourage us to make changes in our personal and professional lives. Our organization’s mission, to serve emerging professionals in the field of aging, also requires us to address the intersectionality of systemic racism and aging.

Boston Bridge recognizes our own part in these issues and we are committed to educating ourselves, and broadening our membership and Board so that we are more diverse and representative of society.

We have also decided to devote this month’s Scoop entirely to the issue of racial justice and equity. Our June meeting, and this Scoop, will be the last one until September. There are a plethora of articles, books, mixed media, and calls to action that address these issues. The lists below are just some of them – a beginning. We hope you will find these resources inspiring and helpful.

Announcements:

  • American Society on Aging Webinar:
    • For those who have ASA accounts, they are offering this webinar: June 25, 1:00 PM (PDT). When America Catches a Cold, Black America Gets Pneumonia: NCBA Responds to COVID. Karyne Jones, President and CEO of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, will share how COVID-19 has impacted her organization, with a focus on affected African American elders and the services NCBA provides for them. She will address societal issues, including social determinants, chronic disease, and access to healthcare, that continue to plague the African American community and how they are reflected in the imbalance in virus cases. She will describe the changes they had to make, including the way they communicate, and highlight lessons learned. Follow the link to register

Books:

  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt
  • Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie
  • Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • The Hidden Cost of Being African-American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality by Thomas M. Shapiro
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington
  • Who Will Care for Us?: Long-Term Care and the Long-Term Workforce by Paul Osterman

Articles

Mixed Media

Take Action
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice. By Corinne Shutack. Medium

Local/National Organizations to Explore and Support with Your Action:

  • Diverse Elders Coalition – “Founded in 2010, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people…”
  • ACLU – “American Civil Liberties Union has worked every day in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill Rights, and laws of the United States.” Read “Beyond Reform: Racial Justice, Policing and The Path Forward”
  • Black Lives Matter Boston – “BLM Boston centers work against racist policing and police violence, abolishing mass incarceration, economic disparities and factors that allow the school to prison pipeline to exist.”
  • Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) – “…combating Institutional and structural racism.”
  • Coalition for Social Justice – “The Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ) is a grassroots organization founded in 1994 to bring together people affected by and concerned about poverty to advocate for economic opportunity.”
  • Campaign Zero – “works to end violent policing by focusing on concrete policy solutions…”
  • Color of Change – “We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.”
  • Equal Justice Initiative – “EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” This is the organization begun by Bryan Stevenson.

On behalf of the Boston Bridge Board, we wish you all a safe, healthy, and happy summer. We will be in touch again at the beginning of September.

Colleen Morrissey and Barbara Friedman, Boston Bridge Board Members