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Black Lives Matter: We Stand with Our Community in Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

The statement below was shared with the College Now community on June 9, 2020. For a list of anti-racist resources and supports organized by College Now staff, please continue scrolling to the bottom of this message.

College Now Greater Cleveland joins the voices of the community in Cleveland and in cities around the world expressing anger and indignation over the murder of George Floyd and the numerous other Black and brown people killed at the hands of police. We condemn all forms of institutional racism in the strongest possible terms.

We are proud to join the Greater Cleveland Partnership and over 20 local organizations in declaring racism a public health crisis in Cleveland and committing to take action to undo the structural racism present in our community. You can read the full statement of community commitment on the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s website.

College Now was founded in 1967, the same year that Cleveland elected Carl Stokes, the first Black mayor of a major U.S. city, and the year that Martin Luther King, Jr. announced the Poor People’s Campaign, a movement to bring economic justice to the poor and disenfranchised of America, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. It is with heavy hearts that we reflect on the last 53 years of our existence and recognize that so many societal problems continue to plague our community since we first opened our doors to help Cleveland public school students go to college.

College Now works to overcome racial inequalities by ensuring equal access in education, which is a key factor in creating an equitable society. To America’s first Hispanic and Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, education means equality. She said, “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.” To American hero, former slave, and famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, education meant opportunity. He said, “Some know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it.”

We must acknowledge that, due to our country’s 400-year history of marginalizing Black people, racial disparities exist at every point along the higher education pipeline, from the application process to degree completion. Research has shown that segregation is a contributing factor to disparities in college completion rates. Furthermore, financial and social resources, which are impacted by racial and social inequalities, also have a major impact on enrollment and completion.

College Now recognizes that it is not enough to simply be “not racist.” We must be anti-racist. We must call out racism when we see it, even when it is implicit, and we must recognize that racism is not a problem to which Black people must figure out solutions. It is a problem that must be addressed individually and systemically by all of us.

Here at College Now, we have been talking and learning about issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion more intensively over the past few years. We recognize, while we may not always have lived up to it, we have an important role to play, as access to education is one of the keys to social and economic mobility in the U.S., and because the communities we serve and work with are directly affected by systemic racism every day.

College Now will continue to listen to and to support Black people, and we will use our platform to bring systemic change so our society can fully realize equality and justice for all. Black lives matter.

In love, anger, justice, and hope,

Lee Friedman
CEO, College Now Greater Cleveland

Anti-Racist Resources and Support Links
Updated: June 13, 2020 

The following list has been compiled and continues to be updated by College Now staff. We encourage you to take some time to explore the below resources and to share widely. This is work we all need to do and to truly commit to doing. It is a lifelong process and one that we all must take personal responsibility for. Thank you for joining us in this work – you are helping to make our organization and our community a more just and equitable place.  

Resources for White Allies

Discover your Baseline 

Lists and Compilations 

Articles and Interviews 

Films and Series 

Podcast and Radio 

Books 

Non-fiction 

  • America’s Original Sin, Jim Wallis (2015) 
  • An African American and Latinx History of the United States, Paul Ortiz (2018) 
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2014) 
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015) 
  • Biased, Jennifer Eberhardt (2019) 
  • Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good PeopleMahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald (2013) 
  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men, Paul Butler (2017) 
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine (2014) 
  • Conversations in Black: On Politics, Power and Leadership, Ed Gordon (2020) 
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, Mira Jacobs (2019) 
  • Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?Mumia Abu-Jamal (2017) 
  • How to be an AntiracistIbram X. Kendi (2019) 
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown (2018) 
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson (2014) 
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, Layla F Saad (2020) 
  • Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, Ruth King (2018) 
  • So You Want to Talk About RaceIjeoma Oluo (2018) 
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist IdeasIbram X. Kendi (2016) 
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson (2017) 
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein (2017) 
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin (1963) 
  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward (2016) 
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander (2010) 
  • The Racial Healing HandbookAnneliese A. Singh (2019) 
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson (2010) 
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, Damon Young (2019) 
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors (2018) 
  • White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo (2018) 
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Tatum (2017) 
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge (2017)  
  • Women, Race and Class, Angela Davis (1981) 

Fiction 

  • AmericanahChimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013) 
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987) 
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin (1953) 
  • HomegoingYaa Gyasi (2016)
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (1952) 
  • The Nickel BoysColson Whitehead (2019) 
  • Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez (2020) 
  • The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (2019)

Children and Young Adult 

  • A is for ActivistInnosanto Nagara (2013), non-fiction 
  • Anti-Racist BabyIbram X. Kendi (forthcoming), non-fiction 
  • Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson (2014), fiction 
  • The Hate U GiveAngie Thomas (2017), fiction 
  • This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell (2020), non-fiction 
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (2020), non-fiction 

Social Media 

  • Follow these organizations and amplify their content: 
  • @blklivesmatter 
  • @colorofchange 
  • @naacp 
  • @showingupforracialjustice 
  • @civilrightsorg 
  • @reclaimtheblock 
  • @ethelsclub 
  • @unitedwedream 

Support Resources for People of Color

Everyone 

Student-Focused 

Resources for Educators 

Call to Action 

Get Involved 

  • Register to vote 
  • Sign a petition (or two): 
  • Justice for George Floyd (change.org) 
  • Colors of Change #JusticeForFloyd 
  • Justice for Breonna Taylor (change.org) 
  • Justice for Ahmaud Arbery (change.org) 

Donate 

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice’s list of black-led racial justice organizations 
  • George Floyd Memorial Fund 
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund 
  • Reclaim the Block 
  • National Bail Out 
  • Black Lives Matter 
  • Bail Project 
  • Black Visions Collective 
  • Campaign Zero 
  • National Bail Fund Network 
  • The Innocent Project 
  • Run with Maud 
  • Justice for Breonna