Day of Action

At Rhodes, Black lives matter and we are committed to do our part to create a more just campus, city, and world.

Rhodes is observing a day of action and learning meant to be a tipping point towards more sustained racial justice work. It is a day to share ways to engage in work against white supremacy and police brutality and a day to amplify the voices of those most affected.

Chaplain Beatrix will be facilitating and sharing these resources and actions on the Rhodes Instagram throughout the day.

Learn

  1. Book: Waking Up White by Debby Irving

    Article: 4 Steps That I and Other White People Can Take to Fight Racism, Christina Marie Noel, June 2, 2020 

    Article: The Double Standard of the American Riot, Kellie Carter Jackson, June 1, 2020

    Video: Slavery to Mass Incarceration, Equal Justice Initiative (5 min) 

  1. Book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

    Article: Why I’m Scared to March by Matthew J. Harris (‘20), June 3, 2020

    Video: This is America, Childish Gambino,  (4 minutes)

    Online Toolkit: New Era of Public Safety: An Advocacy Toolkit for Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing

  1. Article: The Lack of Mobilized Outrage For Police Killing Black Women Is An Injurious Erasure, Treva Lindsey, June 3, 2020

    Video: Terror Lynching in America, Equal Justice Initiative  (5 min) 

    Movie: Just Mercy

    Book Chapter: Necessary Trouble, Sarah Jaffe (excerpt available)  

  1. Article: The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ta-Nehisi Coates, June 2014

    Article: Accomplices Not Allies, Indigenous Action Media

    Article: Performative Allyship is Deadly, Holiday Phillips

    Video: Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers, National LGBTQ Task Force,  (51 minutes) 

Lectio divina led by Chaplain Beatrix Weil

Reflect

  1. Lectio divina is a spiritual practice in which you “read” a poem, text, art, music, nature, or an interaction four times. The first time, you read just to get your bearings. The second time, you read to listen to what the poem has to say to you. The third time, you respond. The fourth time, you rest in gratitude for the experience you have had. See video for a guided lectio divina using the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes.
  1. Check out the Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma and the Ally + Accomplice Meditation for Cultivating an Anti-Racist Mindset written and recorded by Dr. Candice Nicole, music provided by Richard Maddox. They are 17 minutes long each.
Dr. Sherry Turner Reads An Excerpt from “Caring For Ourselves As Political Warfare”
  1. Check out this post “Caring For Ourselves As Political Warfare” by Adrienne Maree brown and listen to an excerpt.
  1. Reflect and journal about the last week of your life. Have patience with yourself as you come up with a phrase or word that can guide you as you move forward. What do you want to keep in mind in the future? Write that phrase on slips of paper and hide them throughout your house. Pick days at random in your calendar for the next year and enter that phrase as an event. In GMail, you can email that phrase to yourself multiple times and then “snooze” the email until a later date and time. Find multiple ways to hold yourself accountable.

Act

  1. Write: Who is the top election official in your county? In Shelby County, that's the Administrator of Elections, Linda Phillips, but the person’s title might be different in your county. Ask them what your county is doing to prevent the suppression of Black votes, especially in the areas of absentee ballot measures, voter ID requirements, and the number and location of polling places. Explain why this issue matters to you and what you would like to see happen. Writing campaigns are more impactful in bulk. Invite local friends to email the same person and voice similar concerns.

    Commit: Register to vote and get 10 other people to register to vote. One organization doing this work in Memphis is UpTheVote901. Go one step further and commit to volunteering at the polls.  

    Donate: Who in your local community is helping people register to vote? Donate to them. 

    Comment on Rhodes social posts to say which action you took! 

  1. Write: Write to the principal of the school you went to growing up. Ask them how they teach the Civil War and American history. Is February the only time of the year when the contributions of Black people are taught? Encourage the principal to consider an inclusive curriculum.

    Commit: Find and follow Black artists, writers, and commentators on social media. Chaplain Beatrix follows The Root and The Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter. Comment with the voices that you recommend.

    Donate: Donate to a local organization that promotes art made by Black people.

  1. Write: Email your state legislator and demand that they end cash bail. Explain why this issue matters to you and what you would like to see happen. Writing campaigns are more impactful in bulk. Invite local friends to email the same person and voice similar concerns. 

    Commit: Court watchers observe and report on the fairness of criminal justice actors in courts. Research how to volunteer as a court watcher in your county. One organization doing this work in Memphis is Just City. 

    Donate: Most states have a system called "cash bail" in which  a cash payment is required for a defendant to be released pre-trial. If they cannot pay, they remain detained. Who in your local community has set up a cash bail fund? Donate to them. Some can be found in this Google doc.

  1. Write: How has your local police department responded to protests both this week and in the past? Are they de-escalating or are they escalating conflict? Email or call your local police director demanding reforms if there have been any disproportionately militarized responses to protests in the last two weeks. Is it clear from their website how officers are trained in use of non-lethal force and de-escalation? If not, email or call to demand reforms and transparency. Explain why this issue matters to you and what you would like to see happen. Writing campaigns are more impactful in bulk. Invite local friends to email the same person and voice similar concerns. 

    Commit: Attend a protest in your area. Look for Black leaders and follow their lead. Use your best judgment to stay safe, and act in line with your values. 

    Donate: Who in your local community is providing free legal services on civil rights cases? Who in your local community is providing free legal services to people who have been wrongfully accused? Donate to them. 

Other Resources

Compiled as a community effort by Rhodes College faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members.

​​​​​​Books

  • Cut Dead But Still Alive by Greg Ellison
  • Citizen by Claudia Rankin
  • West Indian Immigrants: A Black Success Story? by Suzanne Model
  • The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  • Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Autiobiography of Malcom X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  • Bury The Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves by Adam Hochschild
  • Stamped From the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X Kendi
  • White Fragility by Robin D'Angelo
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
  • Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
  • Necessary Trouble by Sarah Jaffe