Jacob Blake, a 29 year old Black man, was shot SEVEN times by Kenosha, WI police as he attempted to get into his car with his three children after breaking up a fight between two women. The second part of that sentence shouldn't matter and we should not need a video  - we should be outraged that Black people continue to be lynched by the police, regardless of the circumstances. The two officers involved are on leave - it's time to get to work, see y'all out there.

Email Kenosha Officials:

Kenosha District Attorney Michael D. Graveley


Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian


Kenosha Police Department Chief of Police Daniel G. Miskinis


Copy/paste email template:

Subject: Justice for Jacob Blake

Email body:

Dear ____,

My name is _____ and I am a resident of  _(city, state)_ . As a concerned citizen, I am writing to demand justice for Jacob Blake who is currently fighting for his life after being shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, WI police officers in front of his children.  

I am demanding the officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake be fired immediately, and the District Attorney file charges against and prosecute the officers involved to the fullest extent of the law. Abuse of power, systemic racism, and white supremacy are evident in the Kenosha Police Department, and I demand the department be held accountable for this attempted murder. 

I trust in you to do the right thing for the community now.

In solidarity,



Protesting and marching works, and there is power in numbers. Find events in your area.

Facebook: Go to "Events", select your area, select "Causes". This will show you a list of events and protests in your city.


  • Find and follow justice orgs in your city (i.e. local chapters of BLM or Showing Up For Racial Justice)
  • Search #Protests[City] and sort by most recent
  • Search "Jacob Blake protests [city] today" or "Racial Justice protests [city] today"
Google: Find racial justice organizations in your city (google "racial justice organizations [city]".

Sign the Petition

Change.org petition 


The Milwaukee Freedom Fund organized by Black and Brown activists to support protestors' bail costs, food, water, and other needs. 

Split Money Between Cities' Bail Funds: These are crucial to protect both protestors AND for preventing mass incarceration. Note: because bail is refunded at the end of a case, this money is always recycled.


Qualified Immunity allows this to keep happening - understand it, support politicians who will reform it.

The Defund the Police movement: what it means and why.

America's History With Lynching

White Rage  by Carol Anderson: order from your local black bookstore (or from mine)

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi: order from your local black bookstore (or from mine)


Share resources, encourage your community to act but avoid posting videos depicting violence against Black people. This is traumatic for people to watch over and over again. 


Local government officials decide who gets prosecuted, to what extent, and the whole law. Research and vote in your local elections. Make sure you are registered at your current address here.

justice for jacob blake: action steps to take now

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What's Wrong With the Mail (Vox): The forthcoming USPS collapse - an explainer.

Liberty University poured millions into its football program. Now its Black players are leaving (Slate): Amazing to see young athletes making incredibly tough decisions to take a stand for what is right. No big surprise that Black athletes are not responding well to University President Jerry Falwell Jr.'s far-right ideals. This is an interesting deep dive into how the athletics program went from zero to winning one of the top football recruits in the US. (Today it was announced that Jerry Falwell Jr. will be taking a forced leave of absence, not because of this though.)

Beirut Protesters Demand Government Overhaul (WaPo): Thousands of protestors took to Beirut's streets to demand government officials' withdrawal. Lebanon has a complicated governing history outlined here.

"Woke-Washing" Your Company Won't Cut It (HBR): As companies rush to speak up about BLM, if they don't put actions behind their words they put themselves at as much risk as if they had not spoken up. Action steps to make sure your company goes beyond woke-washing.

45's Allies Supporting Ye's Campaign (NYT): 45's fanbase is staunchly voting for him, there's no changing their minds, but Kanye West's campaign has the potential to split the Biden vote and secure a win for 45. His associate's aren't even trying to hide their agenda. My friend put it perfectly here:


How the Shift to Remote Work Will Change Everything (The Atlantic): Interesting predictions on the fringe effects of working from home. 

The War on Frats (NYT): Big numbers of white fraternity and sorority members are withdrawing their memberships in light of racist claims, lack of action around educating their members, and 'gag orders' on members. 

Sunday Reading List 8.9.2020

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Parks Aren't Public Until Black Kids Belong (Kaboom): My good friend wrote this post that looks into the history of discrimination in public parks and the path forward to make public spaces truly public.

Trump Moves to Ban Tik Tok In the US (WaPo): TBH as we head into the second wave of COVID if the price I have to pay for an endless supply of choreographed family videos and talking animals is all my personal data and national security... I'm leaning towards a "so be it" response.

When Black Lives Matter Came to Rural White America (WaPo): How the movement is showing up in the most unexpected places, and the communities' reactions. Important read as I forget how different places are outside my bubble.

Trump Repeals Rule Meant to Integrate Neighborhoods (LA Times): He's really not even trying to hide the overt racism. We discussed the history of housing segregation in the US in the
#30DayEducationChallenge - click here to learn why these policies matter.

The Police Tried To Make Me Medically Examine Someone Against Their Will (Zora): A doctor masterfully shows how many times systemic racism comes into play in one encounter with patient in the ER.

You've Been Called Out For a Micro-aggression (HBR): The right way to react when you get called out. Read it, memorize it, be ready to use it because we're all going to mess up here.

How the Child Care Crisis Will Distort the Economy for Generations (Politico): Remember that time congress gave more money to bail out one airline than to the entire child care system during the global pandemic? Here's the impact.

Mackenzie Scott Rules (Medium): Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, is killing the billionaire game with $1.7 BILLION in donations last week, including $160 million to HBCUs. Interesting look into how her money works here.

Sunday Reading List 8.2.2020

Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Michigan judge ruled last week that 15-year old "Grace"* will remain incarcerated after failing to turn in homework.  The teen was put into a juvenile detention center in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic for violating probation for earlier assault and theft charges. "Grace" has ADHD, receives special education services, and struggled to keep up with the new online format of classes. After nation-wide protests and political pressure, an appeals court ordered that "Grace" be released back to her mother on Friday, but "Grace" is one of many young Black children incarcerated across the US.

I want to start this off by pointing out that plenty of people have brought to my attention, written about, and talked about the factors around "Grace" that have led to her getting locked up: she was on probation for a previous assault charge, she stole a cell phone at school, she is dangerous, etc (I don't have time or word count today to get into labeling kids as dangerous but if you do it - stop). To be honest, none of this matters. What matters is why we are locking up kids (60,000 on any given day across the US) which we know further traumatizes and has long-term negative physical and mental health outcomes, instead of providing mental health resources and family/community based interventions (again, we're talking about CHILDREN).

There are two components of systemic racism that play a big part "Grace"'s experience and that of thousands of young Black children across the country:

1: The Adultification of Black Girls
A 2017 Georgetown Law & Poverty Center study found that "adults believe young Black girls need less nurturing, protection, support, and comfort than white girls of the same age, and that black girls are more independent, know more about adult topics, and know more about sex than white girls". We see this at play in all kinds of stats:

  • 20% of female pre-schoolers are Black, but Black girls make up 54% of female preschoolers with one or more suspensions
  • Black girls are suspended five times more than white girls
  • black girls are 2.7 times more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system than their peers
Adultification of Black girls leads to believing Black girls need less protection and less support than their peers and leads to more incidents in police use-of-force against Black girls, less mentorship and leadership opportunities offered to Black girls than their peers and less empathy and compassion towards Black girls compared to their peers. Additionally, Black girls are sexualized and more likely to be penalized at school for wearing the same thing as their peers.

2. The School to Prison Pipeline
You may be familiar with this concept from the #30DayEducationChallenge The school to prison pipeline is a national trend in which students are funneled out of public schools into the criminal justice system. This looks like school resource officers (SROs)- even when controlling for poverty, kids attending schools with SROs have FIVE times the rate of arrests for disorderly conduct. Zero tolerance policies play a big part here as well - once students are suspended they are three times more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system within one year. Things like this lead to students disciplined in the juvenile justice system for issues that would normally be handled at school. 

What can we do?
While "Grace" has been freed, there are thousands of others in her situation. When we hear about these things, here are a few actions to take (as shared by the IG community)
  • Contact the judges involved
  • Email/call mayors, governors, county execs demanding release
  • Donate to ACLU
  • Sign petitions (change.org, etc)
  • Find gofundme pages to support legal fees and families
Things we should be supporting long-term to eliminate this problem:
  • More support in schools (i.e. social workers instead of police)
  • Training for teachers and school staff 
  • VOTE
  • More accountability in social services
  • Support initiatives that value Black and brown childhoods
  • Invest in education (what are your local politicians committed to? use your vote)
  • Mental health resource and support in schools and communities

Shareable resources:
📖 "Girl Interrupted" (report, 20 minute read)
📺 End Adultification Bias (Youtube video, 4 minute watch)

See yall out there.

#FreeGrace Explained

Saturday, August 1, 2020