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The Richmond Pledge to End Racism monthly newsletter is an effort to help us maintain and build upon our pledge commitments.  We hope this newsletter is helpful, but know you can always update your subscription preferences.

This moment in our nation demands our attention.  We cannot ignore it and we cannot sit things out, even if the work that needs to be done feels so overwhelming. 

December 2020

Richmond Pledge Steering Committee News

The mission of the Richmond Pledge Steering Committee is to engage as many faith communities, organizations, and individuals in signing and living the Pledge to End Racism, encouraging them in their work to build a world where racism no longer exists.  To that end, in 2021 the Steering Committee is looking to form a series of task teams to engage more Pledge signers to help expand and deepen this movement in the Greater Richmond region.

We are looking for volunteers to join the following teams, all of whom would liaison with the steering committee:

  1. Living the Pledge Workshop Organizers - This group would schedule and organize workshops to be offered to the greater Richmond community, schedule and organize training events, and recruit new small group facilitators and large group leaders.  Their work could include assisting partner communities in hosting their first workshop.
  2. Communications Team - While the Richmond Pledge has a website, a social media presence, and a newsletter, these tools could be leveraged much more effectively (says the primary person trying to maintain them all!) with a team of folks that are passionate about sharing both the good work the Pledge is currently doing as well as opportunities for Pledge signers to live more fully into their commitment to end racism.
  3. Speakers Bureau - As we begin to reach out to faith communities and organizations about becoming Pledge signers and partners, we envision volunteers who would be available to speak one-on-one with interested groups' leaders as well as give presentations to their members about the Richmond Pledge and the Living the Pledge workshop.  The first task of such a group could be to review and create materials to be used in such presentations.
If you are interested in any of the above groups or have questions or ideas about how you might plug in, please contact us.  We are hoping to have initial meetings of the groups in January with those interested.

Racism & Anti-Racism In the News

Stop Mississippi from Whitewashing History

There is an attempt going on in Mississippi to revise history and whitewash some of the less flattering events, giving a generation of young people an incomplete view of our nation's history.  Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ new budget calls for $3 million for a “Patriotic Education Fund,” which declares that “the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world,” and promises to reward schools that combat the “revisionist history” that is “poisoning a generation.”  

In response, the Zinn Education Project will provide free people’s history books and lessons to Mississippi middle and high school teachers and librarians who write to them. Learn more about this initiative on their website and how you can support them.

The Abolition Amendment

The 13th Amendment abolished slavery after the Civil War—but not for all. Lawmakers left a loophole, also known as the “Punishment Clause,” within the Amendment that outlawed slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” As a result, slavery was not outlawed in prisons. "Slavery is our nation's original sin and this loophole has been exploited for far too long to criminalize Black and Brown Americans," Oregon's U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley said.  Legalized slavery has bent the American criminal justice system, fanned the flames of mass incarceration, and stripped millions of people— particularly Black Americans and people of color—of their most basic human rights.

joint resolution dubbed the Abolition Amendment, introduced by Democrats in the House and Senate, seeks to remove the "punishment" clause from the amendment. 

Read the press release from Senator Merkley and Representative William Lacy Clay (D-MO-1).

If you have not yet subscribed to this daily newsletter, you need to right now!  Each issue contains solid information (with lots of links to primary sources and further resources) and daily actions to help end racism.  A sampling of topics:

Review their archives and subscribe!  They have both a daily and weekly option.

And as you are thinking about all the worthy place to make an end of the year charitable gift, please consider supporting their work. Because of their generous financial supporters, they can offer this newsletter free of charge and pay their staff of writers and editors. 

Learn even more & subscribe

Pledge T-Shirts Now Available!

Back by popular demand, we are pleased to announce the availability of Pledge to End Racism t-shirts.  The shirts are printed on-demand by Que Tees Print Shop, a local Black-owned business.  Orders are processed through their website (where you will see other related products for other organizations) and shipped directly to you by the store.  Prices start at $12 for short sleeve, $13.75 for long sleeve (plus shipping and tax).

Start a conversation and promote the Pledge by wearing your Pledge to End Racism t-shirt.

Order T-Shirt
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The Richmond Pledge to End Racism monthly newsletter is designed to help us maintain and build upon our pledge commitments.  We hope this newsletter will be helpful.  We welcome your suggestions and feedback.

If you only want to be updated about Richmond area Living the Pledge related activities (upcoming workshops, facilitator training, reunions, etc.) and do not wish to receive this monthly newsletter, you can update your profile.  If you are not interested in receiving this newsletter or any updates or requests from the Richmond Pledge to End Racism, you can unsubscribe to all email communication.
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