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
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
Stay engaged and learn more
Resources are hyperlinked in the text:
- Follow and support the work led by people of color. NAACP Colorado Springs and Empowerment Solidarity Network are working to address injustice in many forms. Chinook Center is another local group offering social justice learning opportunities. Citizens Project is a part of the Justice 4 De’Von Editorial Board, a group working towards police accountability and transparency. For Denver-based and statewide work, follow Black Lives Matter 5280.
- Join Stephany Rose Spaulding in her call for a Truth and Conciliation Commission. Take the pledge and commit to the lifelong work of undoing racial injustice. Follow Truth and Conciliation on Facebook for updates.
- Do the work of unlearning racism and becoming anti-racist. A good place to start is joining the local SURJ Chapter (Showing Up for Racial Justice). You can also follow this link for a large resource page for anti-racist learning. Work on yourself through this Racial Equity and Liberation virtual learning series.
- Check out this resource guide for “26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets”
- Show up. Support protests led by people of color. LISTEN to Black people and those impacted by police violence. Here are protest guidelines for white accomplices: compiled by SURJ Denver.
- Donate to Black-led groups working for racial justice. Colorado Freedom Fund bonds out people from jail. Black Lives Matter 5280 organizes for racial justice in Colorado. You can also support locally by donating to the bail fund for protestors arrested in Colorado Springs for speaking up against police brutality.
- Support Black-owned businesses in our city.
- 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 email@example.com if you want to join us, and we will set up dates to meet that work best for everyone.
Reading, Listening, Watching List
- The End of Policing, Alex S. Vitale
- How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- Nobody, Marc Lamont Hill
- Are Prisons Obsolete?, Angela Davis
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?, Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price
- Assata: An Autobiography, Assata Shakur
- The Condemnation of Blackness, Khalil Gibran Muhammad
- Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen
- 1619, The New York Times
- Code Switch, NPR
- Seeing White, Scene on Radio
- Uncivil, Gimlet Media
- Teaching Hard History, Teaching Tolerance
- 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