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Black Lives Matter

OUR POSITION

Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those facing racism and oppression, and we are here to listen, support and do the necessary work for systemic change. We will learn from – and lead – new generations to do better.

 

OUR PLAN 

Our efforts for change are focused both externally (our role and impact on our community and the wider world) and internally (our organizational systems and practices).

THE EXTERNAL WORK

As an organization, we are committed to researching and sharing resources (see section below) for staff, parents, campers and alumni in the following categories:

  • Learn: books, articles, blogs etc to further learning and education
  • Donate: organizations and go-fund-me’s to support
  • Act: ways to get involved at any level
  • Follow: podcasts, instagram accounts etc – to follow and listen to the voices we should be hearing
  • Support: businesses and organizations to support either through purchases, shares, social media follows etc
  • Talk: ways to have conversations around this (for kids, family, friends, online etc) to help build anti-racism 

We are also part of a larger conversation within the camp industry, focused on the impact we can make as a collective on the lives of ALL young people.  We are fortunate to work with colleagues and peers who care deeply, and who share their insight and best practices to make it possible for us all to rise to the standards we set for ourselves. For some examples of these wider strategic goals, please see the American Camp Association and The Summer Camp Society, in addition to the numerous ways individual camps and professionals are addressing the issue within the unique communities they serve.

THE INTERNAL WORK

We are assessing every aspect of our culture and structures, with the goal of not only strengthening our diversity, equity and inclusion policies but intentionally promoting anti racism. This includes:

  • HIRING: After conducting a review of current practices, we are creating a new strategic plan for our hiring practices, to look at every level from leadership down with the goal of ensuring that we are representative of the world at large, and of the community we want to be.  This includes:
    • Considering the makeup of our leadership staff 
    • Expanding our recruitment outreach and forming partnerships with organizations, schools etc that will further our goal – with a focus on HBCU
    • Working with our visa agencies to determine the best ways to have staff from minority groups placed on review with us
    • Examining our pay structures, being aware of the privilege afforded to those who can make a choice to take a lower paying role
  • CAMPER ACCESS: a review of our camper recruitment paths, with the goal of providing accessibility of our program to a much wider demographic.   This includes:
    • Examining the ways in which we market ourselves, and the referrals that we get
    • Building a more robust way to include scholarship access to attend K&E
    • And in the meantime, we are launching an exciting partnership with SCOPE, an organization already doing incredible work to make camp accessible for all
  • ENVIRONMENT: a review of our environment and community (being ready to listen to former Mickey’s Kids and Black staff as leaders in this area) with the goal of understanding and changing how it may feel to join (or view) K&E – we want to be a safe, welcoming, accessible place for everyone and to position ourselves that way to the world.  
  • TRAINING: making diversity, equity and inclusion training a priority across the board
  • COMMUNICATION: the facilitation of discussions (with a priority of amplifying BIPOC voices among us) with the goal of furthering conversation and anti-racism beyond our own community

 


RESOURCES

READ - Books, articles, blogs

ACT - things you can do to take personal action

  • Use a growth mindset (just like we do in everything at Camp), and educate yourself and others! Read, watch and most importantly listen to BIPOC, so you have a better understanding of the issues at hand and your role in changing things
  • Campaign Zero has ten evidence-based solutions to address police violence. Contact your city or town government representative(s) and police chief to advocate for these policies.
  • Find out how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era are being taught in your local school. Advocate that history is taught correctly and certain parts are not skipped over or barely mentioned. Advocate that many voices be used in the study of history.
  • Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids.
  • Seek out a diverse group of friends for you
  • Attend town halls, candidate meet-and-greets, etc for political candidates and ask about ending mass incarceration, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing or ending solitary confinement, decriminalizing weed, ending cash bail, divesting from private prisons, divesting from banks, divesting from banks that finance the Dakota Access Pipeline, etc. 
  • Write to your state and federal legislators about the same issues.

SUPPORT - Black-owned businesses

Find businesses and organizations to support either through purchases, shares, social media follows etc:

WATCH - more ways to get informed

Watch

  • 13th (powerful Netflix documentary for adults on the 13th amendment)
  • The First Time I Realized I Was Black ( a collection of first hand accounts of when people first realized that being black affected how people treated them)
  • Just Mercy (powerful movie about Bryan Stevenson who created EJI – high school and adults)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (one of the first all Asian casts… mostly lighthearted for teens+ but some issues with stereotyping the Singapore wealthy/elite)
  • The Farewell (heartfelt movie about American-Asian woman dealing with the ailment of her beloved grandmother in China and lots of traditional Chinese values/life depicted accurately)
  • Black-ish (tv show about a wealthy black family living in a PWN (predominantly white neighborhood) – easy entry for people beginning their journey – ok for kids)
  • Mixed-ish (comedy about mixed couple raising their mixed children – spin off of Black-ish – good entry for people beginning/in their journey – ok for kids)
  • Taste the Nation (Hulu show hosted by Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef where she goes around the US to learn about cultures of immigrants and the heritage of cultures’ food)

FOLLOW - instagram accounts, podcasts etc to listen to the voices we should be hearing

  • Code Switch – NPR podcast
  • @privtoprog
  • @blackandjewish
  • @accordingtoweeze
  • @adl_national
  • @adl_newengland
  • @naacp
  • @eji_org
  • @thekingcenter
  • @campaignzero
  • @mspackyetti
  • @iamderay
  • @rachel.cargie
  • @theconsciouskid
  • @chnge
  • @hereweread
  • @blackivystories
  • @educatorsforjustice

TALK - ways to have conversations around this (for kids, family, friends, online etc) to help build anti-racism

We will be updating this resource library regularly.  We’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions regarding content we should share! Many of these came from an article on medium.com, where there are lots more to check out!

BLM Resources

A place to collect suggestions, perspectives, stories, questions and more