Reflection & Commitment; Resources, Groups & Next Event
By Joe Easley for BRIDGE’s “Moment to Movement” event 6-25-20
This past month has presented us a moment!
A moment of pain and anger for many who have already seen too much racism in their lives.
For others a moment of recognition about the depth of racial injustice that remains in our nation.
For many a moment for rallies, protests, and marches. Hopefully, it has been a moment that has caused us all to say, “This has to change!”
Now is the time to make this a movement for that change.
Lasting change where this nation and our community live up to our ideas.
Change that demands transformation from all of us. You have heard the challenge. Each of us is now asked to make a commitment to action we will make —a commitment to ourselves and to our community— to one or more specific things that we will do.
Our commitments may be to learn more about race in American and about ourselves, our world, and people whom we have not known well. There are many ways to do that.
Your handout offers some resources to guide you.
In addition, you may want to commit to becoming involved in the work of changing the systems that result in unequal outcomes by race.
There are many local groups already working on this in different ways; some of those are listed on your handout.
But right now, I invite you to look at the handout in the section called “My Commitment.”
You are encouraged to take this home, and take time in the next 24 to 48 hours to reflect on this and then write down one or two steps you will take in the next month in your personal journey.
You can write this down and keep the paper where you see it regularly to remind you.
It will also help if you chose a friend to whom you will share what you are going to do and then report back, when you have done it, and tell what you have learned.
This is your commitment, so tailor it to your own situation.
There is information under the Commitment about BRIDGE & other organizations.
If you are interested in becoming involved in BRIDGE or one of its 3 subgroups, contact the people listed.
We have listed some other organizations that are working for change, which you can contact and get involved with.
There are other groups not listed that you can find out about and join their work. What is important is not to build up any one organization but to spur the work of all groups and people.
Then communication, coordination, and collaboration among groups will be vital. Working together, we can make change happen.
The other side of the sheet has resources you can use in self-education or with others. It is a partial list but a good starting point.
BRIDGE offers some educational experiences in which you can participate or which you can arrange to have done for your group.
We promise another large gathering in September (and quarterly thereafter). We’ll announce those details later, but we hope to hear back some response to tonight’s challenges of community leaders & of the start of substantial change.
If you are not already on BRIDGE’s email list and would like to be, email me and ask to be added.
You can also follow BRIDGE on Facebook.
1 last important reminder: Fill out & return your Census form & tell others to also.
We invited a number of community leaders to be here & want to recognize them now.
As I call out your name or your group, please raise your hand and wave or call out:
Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer and Carol McClintock, both representing Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, who is out of town. City Council President Alex Burton and other City Council Members. County Commissioners Hatfield, Musgrave, and Shoulders, County Council Members. Police Chief Billy Bolin is on a family vacation, but are there members of the EPD here? Is Sheriff Dave Wedding here or members of his department? Prosecutor Nick Hermann is being represented by one of his deputies Charlie Berger. School Superintendent Dr. David Smith—and members of the EVSC board. I know at least Karen Ragland planned to be here. Bishop Joseph Seigel of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville is here. UMC Superintendent Mitch Gieselman regretted he could not be here. Rev. Connie Baltzell, Jr., Pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church & Moderator of the Southern District Association of the Indiana Missionary Baptist State Convention
Other members of the clergy
Representatives of other faith communities
Members of CAJE (Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment)
which co-sponsored our event
Member of the Evansville Branch of the NAACP
People involved in AndhowarethechildrenEvansville
Staff or members of the YWCA
Persons who participate in the White Coats for Black Lives march 2½ week ago
Thanks to tonight’s participants
Watez Phelps, Jr. & Alexandria Holman led our music
Ange Humphrey, Pastor of the Fresh Air Community
Ted McCreary, who started SIMA, a program of Black men
tutoring children in some southside schools
Rev. Veltri Taylor, Pastor of 1st Ebenezer Baptism Church
Father Stephen Lintzenich, retired priest of the Evansville Diocese
I am Joe Easley, retired United Methodist Church pastor & co-convener of BRIDGE
In conclusion, we thank each of you who have come out tonight,
and we celebrate what we will do together for the Evansville area,
so everyone’s life truly matters, including Black & Brown lives!