Anti-racist work in Colorado Springs

The loss of so many lives at the hands of police violence has caused unspeakable pain to communities across the country. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others bring new attention to this reality, yet none of this pain is new- the US is founded upon violence toward Black people and other communities of color.

This national pain echoes the same violence, discrimination, and lack of accountability we have seen in our own community. We saw the murders of De’Von Bailey, Joshua Vigil, and Virgil Thorpe- plus so many others- all in the span of a year. CSPD has a lengthy history of police brutality that goes beyond these individual cases: CSPD has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits for unlawful use of force, in cases like that of Ryan Brown, a Black man assaulted and racially profiled when pulled over. We have seen police violence against protestors demanding justice this past week, and we have yet to see the needed changes in our police and local government that we so desperately need.

All of these cases point to the urgency of the work we must do in our own community. Follow the link below to learn more ways you can engage in police accountability and racial justice in Colorado Springs.

A Statement from Citizens Project

5/30/20

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is an unspeakable tragedy and a reminder that our country is still plagued by racist systems that have existed for over 400 years. Members of the Colorado Springs community are angry and in pain. We are reminded of the killing of De’Von Bailey and others at the hands of local law enforcement. This weekend, members of our community expressed that anger and pain in a peaceful protest that was met with violence.

Today and every day, each of us must do our part to knock down the walls of injustice. There needs to be an authentic conversation between citizens and those vested with authority in our community. For the past 18 months, Citizens Project has been strengthening our efforts to address racism in our community. We partner with communities of color and those most affected by police violence. We remain vigilant in advocating for greater transparency and accountability in our local law enforcement systems.

We must find ways to hold each other accountable. In the coming days we will provide resources and opportunities for the community to be actively engaged in the difficult discussions necessary to move forward in a just and equitable Colorado Springs.

Calls to Action

*only current calls to action remain on this list
6/9/20
In June, voters (Republican and unaffiliated) will determine our next District Attorney. The District Attorney holds a powerful role in the criminal justice system, and it is our job to hold them accountable, particularly to prevent racial inequity in sentencing.
Over the past few months, we have been working to advocate for the freedom and safety of those incarcerated in El Paso County during COVID-19. We have written and called District Attorney Dan May, and we asked you to do the same. Yet, he has still not given any response. If you have not yet done so, you can follow our action alert here to voice your support for those incarcerated in our city.
We also need to hold both candidates running for his position to the same standard, and let them know that we care about those incarcerated. They need to hear that people in our community will continue to champion undoing racial inequity in sentencing and want restorative justice and progressive sentencing policies. Let both candidates know how you feel: Contact Mark Waller at the bottom of his website and contact Michael Allen here.

Stay engaged and learn more

Resources are hyperlinked in the text:

Ongoing work

6/8/20
  • As a part of our work in anti-racism, we must continue educating ourselves. If you are white, you must put in the work every day to understand your whiteness and the racism you hold. Join us in these vital discussions. In the next few weeks, we will be reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and we will hold a series of discussions together. Send an email to joy@citizensproject.org if you want to join us, and we will set up dates to meet that work best for everyone.

Reading, Listening, Watching List

Books
Podcasts
TV/Movies
  • When They See Us, available on Netflix
  • Who Killed Malcolm X?, available on Netflix
  • Just Mercy, available on Youtube
  • I Am Not Your Negro- James Baldwin and Race in America, available on Kanopy (through PPLD)
  • 13th, available on Netflix

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