In this difficult time we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and well and are taking good care of each other. Many of us are struggling economically due to lost wages, trying to navigate painful home environments, and are grappling with loneliness or fear for themselves or family members. We are all learning how to navigate our lives in these unprecedented times.
The consequences of this pandemic are not equally experienced across our Austin communities. Privileges of white supremacy that have kept our families safe for generations are amplified in this moment. Historical racial differences in who receives health care, whose bodies are locked away, who has access to food and a sheltered place to sleep, are now going to be the difference between who lives and dies. If we don’t work to undo white supremacy now, the racial inequity that we have been working against, the gap between those of us who are safe and those of us who are not, is going to get wider.
If we are serious about undoing white supremacy, now is the time to put white wealth and white bodies on the line. It is time to demand the social change that will make sure everyone lives, survives and thrives.
It is heartbreaking to see the emotional and economic toll of the virus’ spread in our community. It is exposing the rotten core of White Supremacy and racialized capitalism in our social infrastructure, set up to extract resources for a few at the expense of the lives and well-being of others. At the same time, we are heartened by how hearts are being opened to our neighbors’ pain with many mutual aid efforts springing up across Austin.
Austin’s communities of color need a share of disproportionate white wealth. Whatever funds you can spare will help families buy groceries, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. They will help pay rent so that families can shelter in their homes. Your contribution will help ensure that families in Austin who have borne the brunt of systemic injustice survive this crisis.We are asking everyone in the UWSA community, every single one of us at the level we are able, to support a mutual aid project organized by Communities of Color United for Racial Justice (CCU). The project, called CCU-RESN (Racial and Economic Solidarity Network), is identifying needs of low-income individuals and families, disproportionately people of color, who are most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. CCU is organizing outreach to individuals and families who have less access to information and resources, little or no internet access, and are most vulnerable to unemployment and loss of housing. We need to make sure that no one is left behind. This project is part of CCU’s long-term fight to demand that Austin realign its priorities away from real estate development and policing and towards health and greater equity for the most vulnerable in our city.
The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we are all interconnected. We ask you to stand in solidarity and give from your heart to help our Austin neighbors who are bearing the brunt of this physical, emotional and economic crisis.
For information about CCU and the Racial & Economic Solidarity Network, click here.
In Gratitude and Solidarity,
Andrea, Barbara, Bethany, Christel, Dee, Jim, Julia, Juniper, Lisa, Rachel M, Robin, Sandra, Sarah
The Undoing White Supremacy Austin Organizing Team