We’ll say it again. Black Lives Matter.

We must be actively non-racist.

It is not enough to be concerned. It is not enough to be tolerant. It is not enough to consider yourself not racist.

Again. Again we witness an unarmed Black man shot by police and the effects have rippled through the country.

This past Sunday, when Kenosha, Wisconsin police shot Jacob Blake multiple times in the back and that graphic video showed up in all of our social media accounts, we were reminded that little has changed since our communities rose up in protest following George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis. Still reeling from that grief, we are concerned about the trauma experienced by Jacob Blake’s sons who witnessed the shooting, the trauma felt by the people who caught the incident on camera, and certainly the physical and emotional trauma Jacob Blake has and will continue to experience as he heals. And we are also concerned about continued trauma to our country.

At the beginning of the summer we saw protests across our nation and across our state. Not only in Omaha and Lincoln but also in McCook, South Sioux City, and in Harvard community members came out to say “Black Lives Matter” and to call for meaningful police oversight and investing in community supports.

The solidarity, the increased awareness of  inhumane systemic inequities, gave many of us hope. We are not naive to the amount of time and work it takes to achieve racial justice, but we cannot be the country we idealize as the “land of opportunity” when Black people fear for their lives everyday. We cannot consider ourselves Welcoming or inclusive while policies and laws continue to harm our Black and brown neighbors, generation after generation.

Yet, here we are again.

It is not enough to be concerned. It is not enough to be tolerant. It is not enough to consider yourself not racist. We must be actively non-racist. We must not only have the hard conversations, we must denounce racism and we all need to take responsibility for creating systemic change.

Here’s how you can learn more, engage with your co-workers, faith group, friends and neighbors. 

  • Cracking the Codes Let us know if you’d like help facilitating a virtual conversation with this video series. No cost. We are glad to share this interactive resource and facilitate a training that works for your group. 
  • Race Forward is a convening that takes place every two years and this year is available to a broader audience as it goes virtual. There are varied levels of registration costs. 

Additional resources for your own learning and tools for talking with family, friends, and neighbors:

Support, donate, volunteer with local organizations:

What is going on in your community? Share your favorite tools and local organizations to combat racism and promote inclusion. We would like to hear from you. You can contact me at cyoakum@neappleseed.org or (402) 438-8853 ext 114.

Christa Yoakum
Senior Welcoming Coordinator
Nebraska Is Home

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