Sanity solutions from your friends at BSD. Our e-pub delivers good news, tips for keeping up with your connections, help to learn something new — and a surprise or two.
How are you staying connected, enriched and inspired these days? Have tips or resources to share? Pass them along and we’ll include them in a future issue.
As we continue to listen and learn amidst the ongoing protests for justice and equality, we want to share more meaningful stories and resources that we’ve discovered. Join us in exploring new perspectives for a deeper understanding of these critical issues.
ISSUE 14 | JUNE 20 | 2020
RACIAL JUSTICE EDITION
Juneteenth, a 155-year-old holiday celebrating the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery, has been in the news a lot lately and many feel it is well past time to make it a national holiday. Want to know what it’s all about? And why it took two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to inform the people of Texas that all slaves are free? Time magazine and CNBC have excellent pieces to keep you informed.
TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT RACE
Parents everywhere are struggling to explain anti-Black police violence — and the worldwide protests against it — to their kids. Here’s something that may help: five short play scripts for children and families to act out, penned by playwright/poet Idris Goodwin, under the title “Free Play: Open Source Scripts Toward an Antiracist Tomorrow.” Also, the New York Public Library has a great list of picture books for the youngest kids, as well as a mix of fiction and non-fiction for independent readers and teenagers. The stories cover a wide range of topics, from the exuberance of a visit to the barbershop to grappling with low self-esteem, from overcoming heartbreak to confronting racism and exploring activism.
RACIAL JUSTICE IN ISRAEL
Did you know that for more than a decade we’ve been working with our client, the New Israel Fund, to combat racism and ensure civil rights in Israel? One project in particular focused on “Moments That Matter” — discussing tipping points in public events and how they shape public dialogue and lead to significant policy changes. NIF supports organizations seeking social change and who are ready for these moments — so that when they come, they can show that racism and exclusion have no place in society. Read our case study on this work.
THE GODMOTHER OF CIVIL RIGHTS
Read about the audacious Dorothy Height, who advised many national political leaders on civil rights issues, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson. Though she has been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, her efforts were rarely recognized by the media or in history books. Many think Height is among the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis, but that her contributions were frequently ignored due to sexism. We learned about Height from A Mighty Girl, the world’s largest collection of books, toys, and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.
BLACK LOVE MATTERS
This terrific story, including photos and video, captures Xavier Young and Marjorie Alston, a young black couple who marked a special milestone in their relationship at a protest — they got engaged! “I’d been kind of just watching her protest and make her voice known, being seen, and I was like, yeah, this is the girl I want to be with.…and then boom. It was a proposal,” Young recounted. “[A crowd] gathered pretty dang quick. She probably didn't want the attention, but you know what? She deserved it.” Congratulations on making history!
We intentionally did not publish last week because we wanted to listen and understand the national dialogue about systematic racism and the mistreatment of people of color.
As we mourn the death of George Floyd, we hold ourselves accountable and know there is much more work to do to increase the diversity of everyday relationships, to educate ourselves, and to implement practices that ensure that racial justice is always served.
Here are our suggestions of what to read, who to learn from, and where to donate. We strongly recommend Instagram and Twitter as places where powerful and relevant voices are publishing hourly; thought leaders not heard via conventional media outlets. And here is a list of activities, from our colleagues at Temple Rodef Shalom, that you can begin today:
• Support black- and minority-owned vendors and small businesses.
• Talk openly with your children about racism.
• Learn to listen, deeply and mindfully, to those who have experienced racism.
• Be in touch with your elected officials.
• Speak up to injustice in social situations, and bear witness.
• Love all people.
ISSUE 13 | JUNE 13 | 2020
RACIAL JUSTICE EDITION
Former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho launched his first episode of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man after receiving many questions from white friends about how they could help. Acho tackles questions like “I understand protesting, but why riot?” and “Why do you think white privilege exists?” — citing MLK, Lyndon B. Johnson, historical efforts to combat racial injustice, and personal experience. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more conversations to come.
BE A BETTER WHITE PERSON
Courageous political and social commentator Jesse Mechanic’s video on How to Be a Better White Person is sobering. He discusses defacto racism, the exclusion of black people from the suburbs, and why systems needs to be dismantled and rebuilt. “If you are posting anything other than content related to what’s happening, you are demonstrating white privilege and doing life wrong right now.” Check out another biting civics lesson from Jesse on the Civil War, and for more, follow him on Instagram.
CLIMATE JUSTICE IS SOCIAL JUSTICE
Have you thought about how global warming, pollution, and other climate issues disproportionately affect people of color? This brilliant op-ed in The Washington Post by climate expert Ayana Johnson illustrates the point so clearly. “To white people who care about maintaining a habitable planet, I need you to become actively anti-racist. I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis. If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither.” With thanks to our client Health in Harmony for highlighting this vital connection.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Teen activist Lee Smith has compiled this thoughtful and comprehensive list of assets — the most thorough we’ve seen — for getting involved TODAY. Sign a petition, call, text, email — here’s what to say, who to follow, where to donate. Lee is an experienced advocate for underserved populations, the former regional Social Action VP of their youth group — and also, Beth’s kid! We need more teen leaders like you and your fellow NFTY board members, Lee!
A VOICE FOR DIVERSITY
This well-rounded list of resources for tackling racism as a person, colleague, teacher, or parent was composed by our good friend Dian Holton, a fellow designer and a tireless, powerful voice for inclusion and diversity in the design profession. Follow on Instagram and Twitter for more enlightenment from Dian, who is also a Board Member of AIGADC and an Art Director at AARP. And check out Sisters from AARP, a free, weekly newsletter celebrating Black Women — a publication for which Dian is the founding art director.
REIMAGINING THE POLICE
President Barak Obama eloquently weighs in on reimagining policing and how to make this a turning point for real and lasting change. “First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States. The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support.” Follow the Obama Foundation on Twitter for more inspiration on how to create a just and equal world.
This issue is devoted to new music written during the pandemic, old music that suddenly has new meaning, and music that’s been recently re-recorded.
We think you’ll find inspiration, hope, and peace in these wonderful selections. Sit down, relax, enjoy a special beverage, and go through the list at your leisure. We hope the creativity and passion from these performances will speak to you as well.
ISSUE 12 | MAY 30 | 2020
MUSIC LOVERS EDITION
SEASONS OF LOVE
This reunion version of the iconic song by the Broadway cast of RENT really raised our spirits. How do you measure the passage of time: in minutes, in hours, in sunsets, in laughter, in love? Be sure to listen all the way to the end — Gwen Stewart hits those through-the-roof high notes, and it gets Beth every time.
TINY DESK CONCERTS
Do you know Tiny Desk Concerts? You should. Beth’s high-school senior turned her on to them and now she’s hooked! NPR hosts intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. It’s a chance for musicians to try out new ideas and to play for a very small audience of NPR employees. Wouldn’t you love to be there for lunch hour at NPR? To keep the concerts coming, subscribe to the NPR Music Newsletter or the YouTube channel.
WAKE UP YOUR HEART
Have you seen our work for the Cathedral Choral Society? We fell in love with them when the late, great, Reilly Lewis was their musical director. Their voices will make your spirit soar and your heart pound. If you’ve never been to a concert in the National Cathedral, put it on your D.C. bucket list! Until COVID-19 is way behind us, you can enjoy their music on YouTube, with 24 songs from Hymns Through the Centuries and nine songs from Evensong: Of Love and Angels.
NEW YORK STRONG
To celebrate their patients getting off the ventilators and returning home, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx plays Empire State of Mind throughout the entire hospital to lift everyone’s spirits. Check out Alicia Keys and others, including Whoopi Goldberg, in a new version of this great song, produced by the BET COVID-19 Relief Effort to honor survivors and healthcare workers.
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER NOW
John Paul White and Rosanne Cash (one of Beth’s favorite female vocalists) combine their voices seamlessly in this beautiful and inspiring duet. “I love you like a brother and I don’t know you at all.” They remind us that this is our only world and we’re in this together.