The Abrome community is closely following the international uprising in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May of this year. We recognize that this horrific event both stands alone and joins a long trend of Black Americans being lynched by police forces nationwide. Just a few weeks ago, Austin police shot and killed Michael Ramos, an unarmed Black and Hispanic man. More recently, Austin police almost killed Justin Howell, a 20-year-old Black man, when they shot him in the head with a “less lethal” munition consisting of lead shot wrapped in fabric. Mr. Howell remains in the hospital with a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury. 

The George Floyd uprising is happening because of decades of Black organizing for liberation and abolition. Because organizing is a slow and often unseen process, these events seem to pop up unexpectedly. However, this moment represents the tireless labor of people like  Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi; Ruth Wilson Gilmore; Mariame Kaba; and countless other Black organizers, scholars, activists, and community leaders. It is the hope of the Abrome community that every white American will find these voices in their own communities, amplify their words and their work, and commit to anti-racism in all aspects of their daily lives.

Some of the local projects that Abrome members are excited about include 400+1 and their accompanying white ally group The Ally Ship; the Communities of Color United coalition; and Mama Sana Vibrant Woman. In addition, this is an extensive list of Black-owned businesses in the Austin area. 

Finally, we realize that white supremacist systems have socialized everyone to value white life and comfort over Black life and safety. The work of anti-racism is lifelong, and Abrome is committed to making available learning opportunities for our white community members to grow in their anti-racist knowledge and actions. Some of us are currently working through Me and White Supremacy. Other excellent books include How To Be An Antiracist and White Fragility. The Center for Racial Justice in Education maintains this list of resources for talking to young people about racism. These resources are a starting point and we at Abrome hope our larger communities will join us in the difficult work of uprooting racism, personally and collectively. 

Black lives matter; Black lives will still matter after current events leave the media cycle. We honor the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Michael Ramos, Jamel Floyd, David Joseph, Botham Jean, and the too-many other Black lives lost to state violence. We join Black leadership in Austin and nationwide in demanding that cities defund police and transform public safety responses.

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