Since the launch of our Racial Justice Toolkit this past spring, we’ve posted several stories about racial justice work from the perspectives of some of our favorite Cleveland-based activists. Why Cleveland? Well…
This spring, we published the ioby Racial Justice Toolkit: a collection of resources designed to help anyone take action for equity, wherever they live. Have you given yourself a chance to check it out?
To complement the Toolkit, we’re highlighting some of the great racial justice initiatives taking place in Cleveland, Ohio these days, with an emphasis on the great people behind them, and some of the complexities of their work. Cleveland has a robust racial justice movement that’s rooted in many decades of history, and it’s growing stronger by the year. We’re proud to support local leaders in Cleveland as they take their city’s legacy to a new level.
Like many ioby Leaders, Samaria Rice didn’t always think of herself as an activist. Until a few years ago, she was a busy single mom, taking care of her kids and studying to start a career in real estate in her native Cleveland. “I was living in a bubble,” she says.
Then, on November 22, 2014, Ms. Rice’s 12-year-old son Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland police while playing with a pellet gun outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
Racial justice work is hard.
There are many good approaches to addressing the historical and systemic injustices faced by people of color, but they all involve difficult tasks. Whether you’re bringing community agriculture back to a marginalized neighborhood, facilitating a multicultural public art project, mounting a national educational campaign, or any other initiative, there will be personalities, logistics, and budgets to deal with. There will be difficult conservations, delays, and disappointments. Sometimes, there will be burnout.
“It’s never too late to act. There’s always time to make your voice heard and to do something, even if it’s a small thing—especially if it’s a small thing. That’s the best place to start.”
— Indigo Bishop, ioby Cleveland Action Strategist, in ioby’s new Racial Justice Toolkit
Fifty years ago today, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Commemorations are taking place across the country to honor his vision and achievements, from panel discussions to walking tours to the symbolic ringing of church bells. The anniversary of Dr. King’s tragic death can serve to remind us of how real the challenges to racial equity movements can be.