The action items Tabitha called for in her speech at the rally on June 6:
1. take out your phone.
TEXT “JUSTICE” TO 802-881-0020
Sign the petition calling for a fair and just Bennington Police Department
2. Keep your phone out. Go to http://www.naacprutland.org. Click on SUPPORT BLACK VERMONTERS.
3. Hop over to DONATE or BECOME A MEMBER. Do one, the other or both. If you don’t want to be part of the NAACP, join other racial justice organizations led by POC or if you need more time to figure out your whiteness, join SURJ in Middlebury.
4. Get civically involved. Start attending legislative committee sessions.
Support H.464 – Use of Force – House Gov. Opps.
S.119 – Use of Force – Senate Judiciary
H.808 – Use of Force – House Gov Opps.
H.937 – Staff support for Director of Racial Equity – House Gov. Opps.
Support the Reparations Bill
5. Call for fair and impartial policing for Rutland area police departments and law enforcement, that includes constables. I am excited to tell you that I will be chatting with the police commission on Monday at 6 pm to do just that. Chief Kilcullen and I have been having lots of great conversations about that so please follow up with us later to make sure it happens and volunteer to support this endeavor.
6. Go to your select boards and talk about anti racism work. Follow up if they already started and support continued work. Ask what steps their training is leading to. If they don’t have any, help them come up with some.
7. Support the continued raising of the Black Lives Matter flag. The kids at Rutland High School are asking for it to stay up. I commend Rutland City Public schools for finally raising it just over 400 days ago. I know you didn’t get to that curriculum yet, so keep that flag up and get on that curriculum…
8. Stay focused on equity. A quick note and this is directed at all of our public systems, the pandemic is no excuse for any entity to stop doing equity work or slow it down, if anything, what we saw unfold with the department of health and race data collection is testament to exactly why all of our systems need to focus even more on these kinds of issues because when bad things happen to white people, expect double for people in marginalized positions. When white America sneezes, people of color get the flu.
9. Use your power to center our voices. If you sit on a board or really in any space where decisions are made and a person of color or someone who clearly gets systemic racism says “we should do x” and your response of your organizations response is: “we have never done it that way before” your response is YES! AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE GOING TO LISTEN AND DO IT DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE THIS ISN’T WORKING. I don’t care if you sell widgets and someone tells you that you need to…
10. Realize that the only way that this ends peacefully is when white folks figure this out. Please educate yourself, get your cousin and don’t let fear stop you.