This June we find ourselves in a time of extremes. Stuck at home without travel and social gatherings things have slowed, quieted even, while tensions in the world outside swirl in a fevered frenzy. Admittedly I had been shying away from the news. With less to do and more time to think the reality of the world weighed heavy on my chest. That very decision, to turn away and come back to it later, is a privilege, the privilege to say I can’t deal with that today, maybe I’ll look at it tomorrow. I struggled to look at news as face after face of black individuals killed and brutalised by police popped up on my newsfeed. Then I found the video of George Floyd automatically playing on my phone late at night and I realised I couldn’t hide anymore. There were no excuses for sitting back and burying my head in the sand. I had been repeating to myself ‘why doesn’t someone do something?!’ until I realised that I wasn’t doing anything. Sometimes looking around as the world whizzes by is daunting, where do we even start? But we need to start somewhere. No action is too small. What gives me hope in times like these is the knowledge of the amazing community of activists, of people who really care about what is going on and want to make a difference, that we have built here in the Women’s Caucus. You all inspire me to be better every day. As the post cards we have been colouring recently said – Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean.
So let’s get this ocean moving and start turning some tides. We’ve put together an activist calendar for June. One action per day. Together we can rise up and support our friends, families, and neighbours in the states to end systematic racism. We need to start with ourselves and understand our privileges and biases, build ourselves a solid foundation and then go out into the world starting with families and friends to help drive change.
Let’s do this together.
Like many other Americans, we are outraged and upset about the deaths of many Black Americans at the hands of police brutality. For June, the Women’s Caucus is getting to work. Join us as we depart on 30 days of activism. We’ve put this calendar together for our June newsletter and will but updating daily on social media with a daily action to help fight racism. Check out our social media to learn more.
Well, it looks like we won’t see each other in person for a while due to Covid-19. Fortunately, the Women’s Caucus has lots of experience overcoming physical distance. Just as we won’t let an ocean stand in our way of being active in US politics, we also won’t let social distancing interfere with our commitments to activism, education and the community we all cherish.
This month, our comms team has put together some social and political actions you can easily take from home. If it’s inspiration, motivation or food for thought you seek, be sure to check out our Women’s Caucus Reads — and let us know what you’re reading, watching and listening to during those long hours at home!
We’re looking forward to sharing more ways to stay active and engaged from afar, but in the meantime, we know these are stressful times and it’s more important than ever to maintain our social bonds, even if it’s from a healthy physical distance.
To this end, we invite all our members to join us on Slack, the virtual “water cooler” of the Women’s Caucus. There we have also set up a new channel called #copingwithcovid, where we invite all members to share, vent, laugh, stay connected and seek help and support during these trying times. We’re also planning on some virtual hangouts in the near future, so stay tuned!
In closing, we send our best wishes for strength, solidarity, hope and good health in the challenging period ahead. If we stick together, we are confident that distance need not mean disengagement, and isolation can give way to activation.
Meghan Feeks & Steph Ryde
Co-Chairs, DAUK Women’s Caucus