We are at a crossroads.
We stand in solidarity with Black activists that demand swift and substantial changes to policing, criminal justice, and community investment.
We acknowledge that our white-dominant profession has long been complacent in denying Black people the same opportunities and seat at the table in building our communities.
We recognize that police brutality and the current health crisis disproportionately impacting Black people is the culmination of generations of racist development practices and systemic disinvestment in our neighborhoods.
To help the EcoDistricts community navigate and strengthen our collective resolve to fight for racial justice and equity, we need to lean in and support our Black urban and community development leaders. Below, we have identified petitions, articles, and resources for you to explore and act:
- Support the NAACP’s #wearedonedying petition to press for immediate action regarding the killing of George Floyd.
- Support Minneapolis’s “Reclaim the Block” petition to cut the city’s Police Department budget to reinvest into community development. This can become a model for other cities to follow.
- Support Black Lives Matter’s national #DefundthePolice campaign
- Read Tamika Butler’s blog post “Stop Killing Us: A Real Life Nightmare” Tamika is former executive director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and former executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and a leading advocate for social justice in planning.
- Read “A Letter to White Urbanists,” a call to those who are white to act by Alicia John Baptiste, CEO, and President of SPUR.
- Watch “Why Cities Are Still So Segregated” from NPR’s Code Switch.
- Read Somini Sengupta’s New York Times article “Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism”
- Read EcoDistricts’ Board Member Julian Agyeman’s op-ed, “Poor And Black ‘Invisible Cyclists’ Need To Be Part Of Post-Pandemic Transport Planning Too.”
- Read Ibram X. Kendi’s piece “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” in response to Ahmaud Arbery’s murder while out for a run.
- Read Dr. Robert Bullard’s piece, “The Quest for Environmental Justice and The Politics of Place and Race.” Dr. Bullard is considered the “father” of environmental justice.
- Listen to Code Switch’s podcast “A Decade of Watching Black People Die.”
- See Crack Magazine’s “How to support the Black Lives Matter movement – Funds and Organisations Who Need Your Help.”
- Explore the resource guide “Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race” to learn how to have delicate conversations with the next generation, and begin to ensure we are raising kids to be anti-racist.
- See “The Cities We Need,” an in-depth op-ed series by the New York Times calling for a new and ambitious era of inclusive urban reinvestment.
The EcoDistricts community is made up of strong and passionate leaders dedicated to inclusivity and equity. As community builders, we have a responsibility to move in a radically different direction in which racial equity, inclusion, and justice are the underpinnings for every urban and community development decision. This is the time to strengthen our resolve and our commitment to one another.