#268: 4 Things For Right Now
Loyal readers, I hope you are taking good care of yourself as our divided country awaits the result of our presidential election. It is a stressful, anxious time. Please reach out if you want to talk.
Some of you might be hankering for articles with perspectives on the election, and others might prefer the exact opposite. Though I’m sure thoughtful articles will emerge soon enough (as they did four years ago), this week, I’ve decided to try something different. Rather than sharing the usual fare of outstanding articles on race, education, and culture, I’m offering resources and organizations for you to check out instead. They’re good, solid projects involving good people. (You’re already part of one of them!) These resources are meant to inspire you to do something with the emotions that you’re possibly feeling, rather than spending your days and nights doomscrolling. I hope you find at least one of them valuable — and if you do, please let me know! I’d love to hear more.
Before you jump in: I’d like to appreciate loyal readers Trevor, Allison, Erin, Sage, and Lynn for reaching 200 issues. I’m grateful for your readership and your efforts to encourage other thoughtful people to try on this newsletter. Thank you!
If we listen more deeply to the stories of our most marginalized, we have the ability to transform ourselves and our communities. That’s the premise of Listen for a Change, which aims to break the cycle of discrimination by empowering voices through personal storytelling. Founded by loyal reader Thai Chu, the organization puts on storytelling events, conducts workshops on Instagram, and coaches high school students to celebrate their lived experiences and discover how best to tell their story.
Built from the foundation that Black people are brilliant and diverse, the Black Futures Lab believes that imagination, innovation, and investment can resolve the challenges facing Black communities. Its Black Census Project, the largest survey of Black people conducted since Reconstruction, offers rich data to challenge policymakers. The Shirley Chisholm “Unbought and Unbossed” Black Politics Project organizes and mobilizes Black voters and promotes the newest generation of Black progressive political candidates. If you want to learn more, start with “Black to the Ballot,” which calls for an expansion of vote-by-mail.
+ Thank you to longtime loyal reader Ben for sharing this with me.
Barnraisers Project: White People Organizing Against White Supremacy
Many white people join groups for social justice that focus on reading (and little doing) or hanging out with like-minded white people in a competition of who’s wokest. The Barnraisers Project, founded by Milwaukee native Garrett Bucks, trains white people to build relationships and coalitions in order to move their white family, friends, and community from denial to defensiveness to action. Why? “To be blunt,” Mr. Bucks writes, “because it is white people’s unwillingness to change our mindsets, beliefs and actions that keep our country from living up to its aspirations.” Otherwise, “we’re going to stay stuck in a pattern of symbolic victories and reactionary backlash.”
Even though I sometimes joke about reading clubs (see above), I believe strongly that reading can be transformative, especially with the right text, the right people, and the right emphasis on building connections. That’s what Article Club is about. Join us this month to read, annotate, and discuss Hafizah Geter’s “Theater of Forgiveness,” one of the most powerful articles ever to appear in this newsletter. The piece explores the personal and cultural legacy of violence against Black bodies. I’m honored to collaborate with loyal reader Sarai Bordeaux to interview Ms. Geter and to facilitate our conversation.
+ Here’s the fastest way to sign up for the discussion.
There’s a lot going on, so thank you for reading The Highlighter this week! I appreciate it. Let me know what you thought about today’s issue by hitting reply or by clicking on the thumbs below. I’m grateful for your feedback.
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