Silver Lining Mentoring stands in solidarity with our allies in Charlottesville, VA. We are deeply saddened and outraged by the overt displays of racism and white supremacy that took place over the weekend. As a team, we are choosing to actively take a stand against violence, hate and racism. Every day we work with young people who have faced incredible adversity and who come to Silver Lining Mentoring searching for support and acceptance. Our work is focused on supporting our young people across all of their identities and serving as advocates to ensure that those identities are valued in all parts of their lives. Our goal at SLM is to put in place long lasting, committed mentoring relationships that empower our young people and support them as they navigate the foster care system and the world around them. At the core of our work lies the value of cultural responsiveness – we believe that diversity strengthens communities, and we are committed to listening and responding to all voices to promote respect, compassion, and social change. Our staff has reflected on what cultural responsiveness means for each of us in the wake of Charlottesville. For some of us this means seeking out peaceful protests and for others it means supporting candidates whose progressive campaigns focus on social justice. But the common thread that unites us all is that we refuse to simply stand by and do nothing. Below are some of our thoughts on how each of us plans to process and take action.
“My immediate action steps in response to Charlottesville will include recognizing and calling out instances of racism, both covert and overt, that occur on a daily basis, attending a rally in my home city in support of Charlottesville with local political leaders, donating to the Legal Aid Justice Center to protect the rights of immigrants and our counter-protesting allies in Virginia, donating to Black Lives Matter, and getting involved in Act Blue to ensure that we can elect forward thinking, courageous, social justice oriented representatives in the next election cycle.”
“I have been both self-reflective and action-oriented: reflecting on my own privilege and the opportunities that I have to counteract white-supremacy and racism, and standing with my neighbors at my city’s rally last night in solidarity with Charlottesville.”
“As someone who walks through the world with an extraordinary amount of privilege, I am committed to leveraging it to hold accountable those who continue to perpetuate the individual, cultural, and institutional oppression of others, either knowingly or unknowingly. I am committed to using my voice and resources to disrupt those promoting hate and dismantle these oppressive and violent forces.”
“For me, cultural responsiveness starts with educating yourself. A person can’t start to think about ways to counteract racism until they see how it impacts their life on a daily basis. Read articles from alternative sources and by people of color.”
“I’m donating to organizations in Charlottesville, and across the nation, who are fighting against racism and white supremacy.”
“This quote really resonated with me: “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to (Aung San Suu Kyi)”
The Unite the Right protest and counter protest in Charlottesville, VA was a prime display of the unfortunate current state of our nation. As a strong believer in the equitable treatment of all individuals, seeing the display of human hatred & violence in Virginia revolts me to my core. Unfortunately, Boston will see a similar “Free Speech Rally” this Saturday, August 19th on Boston Common from 12-2 pm. To make sure all of the marginalized voices are heard, I will be participating in the Fight Supremacy! Boston Counter-Protest & Resistance Rally – a march starting at 10am at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center on Tremont Street. All are welcome and encouraged to make their voices heard in whatever way feels comfortable to them, including joining the rally on Saturday morning.
“This act of terrorism is a stark reminder that we can never take a break from fighting these oppressive actions, ideals, and those who would propose to uphold them as righteous. Every day, we must remain vigilant, and ready for action. As a white, cis, hetero woman, I enjoy immense privilege. My responsibility is to recognize that, and leverage its power to uphold and support the voices of marginalized people. I’m so glad, and proud, that SLM is committed to that kind of action.”