In January 2016, RG Philly created a Political Action working group, to discern our role in and take action on local economic and racial justice campaigns. We went through a process of considering where we could have the most impact, … Continue reading »
Reflections on the campaign to fund Black liberation
In the last year, the movement for Black liberation has grown at an exhilarating pace. Even as the systemic violence against Black lives continues, this social movement has built tremendous transformative power nationwide. In the late summer and fall of 2014, we in RG realized that our organization needed to find ways to support this movement. As young people with class privilege committed to the redistribution of land, wealth, and power, the most direct way that we could do that was through leading a fundraising campaign to give the movement resources to continue and grow. We are proud that in the last year, RG has evolved into an organization capable of moving millions of dollars to the movement for Black liberation. After the one-year anniversary of the Ferguson Uprising, we – Resource Generation members Ollie and Jason – want to reflect on the achievements and the challenges of the past year and our commitments to Black liberation movements going forward. Many of the insights below come from our fellow RGers. (more…)
By: bex kolins
Since joining the leadership team of the It Starts Today! campaign to fund Black led organizing work, I’ve been inspired, excited, and energized by the incredible work RGers are doing in not just redistributing our wealth, but … Continue reading »
By Willa Conway
It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose it is they themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself—that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom only by setting someone free.
– James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
I’ve been thinking about this James Baldwin quote in relationship to philanthropy for the past two years and it has come up even more strongly through the It Starts Today Campaign and our task to raise $1 million for Black lead organizing. What does it mean for me to give? I have money that I was taught to give away philanthropically from an early age. Yet, I’ve never felt that Baldwin was calling me to simply write checks to organizations that I have a connection to or that move me. This is a type of giving, but I do not believe that this is the type of gift that requires the vulnerability that could lead to liberation, to connection, to freedom.
In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, Robin Hood talks with Prince John about his recent transformation and decision to join a movement to redistribute wealth on a massive scale.
Robin Hood: Let’s get right to the point here, Prince John. Tell us, what’s behind your recent political shift?
Prince John: Well, Robin, after years of hoarding and thinking that I alone was responsible for earning my wealth and ruling the kingdom, my brother Richard came back from the Crusades and shared with me that he had joined an organization of wealthy kings with social justice values. At first I tried to have him beheaded at the suggestion of Sir Hissss, but after deep reflection I realized that I want to be part of a socially just world, and find love and joy in community.
RH: That makes sense. And what are you planning to do now? Are you passing out gems at the gate?
PR: Actually, Robin, I’ve learned that organizing is the most powerful tool for transforming our society. My fellow kings visited last month and we had a visioning retreat where we concluded that equitable taxation was the best tool for us to redistribute our wealth on a kingdom-wide scale. (more…)
This post is a part III of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Visit our campaign webpage.
Written by Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen … Continue reading »
This post is a part II of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.
Written by Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea
(Soundtrack for this post: “There’s Something Wrong With This Picture” by Galactic)
In the Resource Generation community we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015. For many of us, this is an act of reparations.
What are reparations?
The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) explains that reparations require governments and corporations to apologize and provide material amends for the history of slavery and white supremacy. Beyond this, N’COBRA points out that “all white people have to some extent benefited from slavery and… White Supremacy” and individuals who understand how they have benefited “if acting in good faith, would [also] contribute to reparations funds for use in assisting in the reparations process¹.”
As white wealthy individuals, reparations means redistributing our excess personal money to under-resourced Black communities, as a way to acknowledge and attempt to repair the wealth, land, and knowledge that has been stolen from Black people overall, but that has benefitted us personally². The wealth accumulated in this country, through theft of Black labor, property and dignity, has primarily benefited white communities:
The white owning-class produced immense wealth through chattel slavery;
In the 1940s and 50s, Social Security and the G.I. Bill built white wealth through privileging white beneficiaries and excluding Black people and people of color³;
And, less than a decade ago, Wells Fargo, among other banks, targeted Black communities across the class spectrum for subprime mortgages, essentially writing Black foreclosures into their business-plan4.
This post is a part I of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.
Written by: Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea
“We fight in the name of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killed by Detroit Police at the age of 7 years old, who never got to graduate from elementary school. We fight in the name of Mike Brown, who was killed by officer Darren Wilson, weeks before starting college. We fight in the name of Islan Nettles, a 21 year old Black trans woman who was pummeled to death outside a NYC police station in Harlem.”
– State of the Black Union, by BlackLivesMatter¹
In the midst of everything, this blog post is a call to let our attention rest on one fact: the struggle for Black lives continues to move. Are we moving with it?
In the Resource Generation community, we believe this moment is a tipping point for the Black liberation movement. As four young white folks with access to wealth, and the authors of this blog post, we believe that it is incumbent that we show up and make an investment in what promises to be a pivotal moment in our lives and in the movement for Black lives.
This is why we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015.
Are you in? Make a commitment to give and be involved.
May 20th, 2015 would have been Mike Brown’s 19th birthday. Where were you on your 19th birthday? At college? Studying abroad? Had you already been told of the money you would inherit from your family, or had you already received your first financial gift?
We are all at Resource Generation’s Making Money Make Change conference! Wish you were here. For those of you who had to miss it, here’s a throw back Thursday post for you by our summer intern Maddie Reichman.
Beginning in February of this year, RG NY began dedicating its tax team to the fight for universal pre-kindergarten education for New York City. Our angle: taxing the 1% to provide a consistent, dependable revenue stream for the program.
“UPK,” as the city-wide campaign was called, meant different things to different organizations. To education organizations, the campaign was a call for expanded and universal access to a crucial educational stepping stone that currently is convoluted and unfair in its procedures and access.