Resources for a more just and equitable Raleigh

Raleigh Convergence stands with those who are seeking justice.

Consistent with Raleigh Convergence’s mission & values statement, we have to confront the hard truths about what’s not working — about Raleigh and about ourselves — to build a future that is safe and welcoming for all of us. We believe that Black lives matter.

In our newsletters, here on RaleighConvergence.com and Raleigh Convergence’s social media channels, we’ll include anti-racism resources and ways to help + connect as we rebuild a better, more equitable Raleigh.

What you’ll find here:

▪️Ways to support Black businesses

▪️How to give input to people who influence policy to share your opinion

▪️Anti-racism resources

The list below is not complete by any means, but it’s a start. Raleigh Convergence is seeking your input on helpful resources for justice and equity, as well.

We hope this can be a collaborative community resource to build a more just and equitable Raleigh.

While there are roundups of resources to help across the country, we want this to be focused specifically on ways people can engage locally in Raleigh and Wake County. 

As a modern local journalism organization, we’re not advocating for specific policies or actions to achieve a more equitable and just Raleigh. 

We do want to connect people with resources to affect change locally to fight systemic racism. 

Email raleighconvergence@gmail.com with ideas, resources or feedback.

Resources to support Black business, artists:

#BlackDollarNC’s call to action: “If You’re A Person Trying To Figure Out… why the African-American community is responding in this manner – and you’re tangibly trying to learn, understand and support our culture & our plight – bookmark AT LEAST the last 4 links.” [website]

#BlackDollarNC also has a Black-owned business directory [website]

Public Art Response: The Raleigh Murals Project, Royale chef Jeffrey Seizer and the Visual Art Exchange are partnering to bring murals to the boarded-up storefronts in Downtown Raleigh.

“The Raleigh Murals Project believes that Black Lives Matter and value protests where voices of unity and justice can be heard. We want to amplify black voices in our community,” their website says.  

“We will do this by uplifting the voices of those affected by systemic racism, prioritizing black artists and artists of color, and offering a platform to express those experiences and truths.”

Through monetary donations, materials or talents, you can help the Public Art Response effort. 
Donations that go above what will be used for paying the materials and artists’ work will go to the NAACP NC. [learn more + donate]

Raleigh Magazine’s list of Black-owned businesses to support from food and drink to health, wellness and retail. [Raleigh Magazine]

Where to eat and shop: WRAL Out & About’s list of Black-owned businesses. [WRAL]

And the News & Observer’s list of Black-owned businesses. [News & Observer]

Share your thoughts on policing:

Give general feedback about how Raleigh City Police engage with Black Raleighites: The Raleigh City Police take policy direction from the Raleigh City Council. Contact city council members to share your thoughts. Here are the RPD policies and procedures.

Speak during the public comment period: [Sign up]

READ MORE: What’s happening now

Give input about the Police Advisory Board: Though criticized for its lack of oversight power — and protestors want to change that — the advisory board in its current form will review procedures. The Raleigh City Council will begin appointing people to the board soon — contact city council members to share what you want to see in members appointed to the board.

Give input about Wake County Sheriff’s Office: Contact Wake County Board of Commissioners as a group to share how they might work on residents’ behalf.

Matt Calabria is chair of the public safety committee and shared how they work with Wake County Sheriff’s Office: “the Sheriff is an independently elected official, we have no formal authority or jurisdiction over his office’s policies, procedures, personnel, or actions.  To oversimplify slightly, we are also statutorily bound to provide his budget allocation in one lump sum; in other words, we cannot fund or defund any specific thing—only provide him an overall budget number within which he must work.”

File a complaint with the sheriff’s office. Internal Affairs of the Sheriff’s office investigates criminal or “unusually serious” allegations.

Learn more about which records around police accountability are public, and which are not. [Carolina Public Press]

Groups supporting anti-racism:

Take Action Chapel Hill has a fund to support legal fees for people Triangle wide who are facing charges as a result of anti-racism activism: [learn more]

NAACP has a legal defense fund.

Emancipate North Carolina works to dismantle structural racism and mass incarceration across the state. The Freedom Fighter Fund offers legal support for activists and accepts donations. The Justice League mobilizes and trains youth and adults impacted by incarceration.

Help neighbors avoid displacement:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, evictions were temporarily halted. But beginning June 21, evictions could begin again. “Stand in the Gap for a Neighbor is a campaign to provide much-needed funding to folks in Southeast Raleigh who stand in immediate danger of losing their housing. 
 
The racial disparity of economic resources between Black and economically-advantaged communities has made it impossible for Raleigh’s grassroots leaders to stand-alone in the gap between housing and homelessness for their people. Their resulting appeal to folks in the predominantly white faith community with whom they have relationships has led to a collaborative fundraising effort. The concern we share is that families who have a home need to keep their homes to stay safe in a pandemic.” [Learn more and donate]

Resources for white self-education:

Raleigh Raw‘s Sherif Fouad nailed it when he said: “Don’t go asking your black friends to inform you. That’s like breaking into someone’s home and asking them where they keep their spices.”

To say it another way — it is on white neighbors to self-educate on the injustice and systematic racism that our Black, indigenous and people of color neighbors experience daily.

TO READ:

Wake County Public Libraries have recommendations and increased its resources:

HOW TO RAISE ANTI-RACIST CHILDREN:

TO WATCH:

Many more resources

Have other suggestions for Wake County-specific support or anti-racism resources? Email raleighconvergence@gmail.com

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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