OCU Stands in Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter
We know that the work of justice and peacebuilding starts within each of us. As such, at One Common Unity, we have initiated a long-term internal process to ensure that OCU embodies fully anti-racist and anti-white-supremacist practices. Towards this goal, over the past two weeks we’ve convened affinity groups for staff who identify as Black, Non-Black People of Color, and White. These affinity groups are meeting individually and then will return collectively to discuss and determine new systems and policies that will move us beyond multiculturalism, to being a fully anti-racist organization.
For generations upon generations, we have witnessed the horrors of white-supremacy and structural racism; it’s disease manifesting tragically in the murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others at the hands of police. The violence and injustice done to Black communities extends far beyond police brutality. It exists in the structuralized racism that is embedded in housing policies, healthcare systems, schools, corporations, politics, and beyond. As the structural violence enacted daily upon communities of color holds our nation’s attention, we have a chance to dismantle, reimagine, and rebuild these structures, allocating resources that will holistically support the needs of our communities.
As we continue to process so much grief, sadness, and pain, today we also find inspiration and great hope in the peaceful uprising of hundreds of thousands of people in this country and around the world, demanding that we defund violent and coercive policing that upholds systems of oppression against Black and Brown communities and instead invest in those communities.
Right now, DC’s proposed budget includes $578 million allocated for the Metropolitan Police Department, a 3.3% increase, while suggesting cuts to other programs including violence prevention and restorative justice programs, social services, education, and healthcare. Together, let’s imagine and build a future where schools embrace trauma-informed care, social-emotional literacy, and restorative justice as a bedrock of their cultures, where students have ample mental health support and where the school to prison pipelines, exacerbated by detention and suspension, are broken, with Intention Rooms becoming the norm. The celebration of our shared humanity and the intersectionality of our struggles for justice and peace have been our guiding principles for 20 years. This is not simply a rhetorical point, but a reminder of the call to action that OCU represents.
OCU will soon be hosting the “Fly By Light National Training,” which is a 40 hour trauma-informed, arts empowerment, and restorative justice virtual training. We invite educators, community organizers, youth workers, health workers, artists and activists into a learning environment focused on nonviolent communication, cultural humility, implicit bias, conflict resolution, self-care, mindfulness, and more. This virtual training is more timely than ever. Share the word with your networks and learn more or on our website or email .
We want to conclude by stating what we hope is obvious: that OCU—our staff, volunteers, students, supporters, and partners—stand arm-in-arm with the Black Community and our allies in the fight against racism and injustice.