“The urgency of the moment and the patience of a thousand years.”

Dear Friends,

Over the past weeks, we have experienced pain and transformation alongside grief and rage. We have witnessed profound acts of commitment and love, and we have witnessed Black and Native and Brown and POC and Indigenous people organzing in glorious and necessary ways towards freedom.

In some ways, nothing is new, yet everything is new. The abolitionist organizer Mariame Kaba recently wrote, “We have to act with the urgency of the moment and the patience of a thousand years.” The urgency of the moment tells us that we must push through the cracks that are opening in the systems of white supremacy around us. The patience of a thousand years reminds us that Black organizers, alongside Native and Brown and POC and Indigenous organizers and others acting in soldiarity, have known for generations that we can build a world grounded in community-based safety, and that we build can it without police.

In the past week, the Minneapolis City Council took meaningful action towards defunding our police department and investing in community-based safety. This comes after years of brilliant organizing and spiritual imagination by groups such as Black Visions, Reclaim the Block, and MPD150, and after years and years of violence and then more violence at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department.

We are clear that things can no longer continue as they are. And even with that clarity, many of us might be wondering, “what does this all mean for my loved ones and for my community?” or “what action can I take right now?” or “if we change our current system, what will replace it and how will I be safe?”

My wonderful comrades and fabulous friends – we are going to have to figure out how to answer those questions together. We can start by opening into the relationships we already hold with one another as places to explore and wonder and dream. And we can start by following the brilliant leadership of organizers on the ground.

For those of us who are not sure what comes next, remember that we are surrounded by interconnected movements for Black liberation that are showing us the way. We can start by educating ourselves about what these movements are asking us to do, and then doing it. I know – it isn’t easy and it isn’t simple, but I promise you – there are joyful moments of connection and purpose waiting for you there.

All my life, I have been taught explicitly and implicitly that I should rely on my whiteness to protect me. I’ve been told to trust the status quo – to believe in justice but not make too much of a fuss. In this way, I have been told terrible lies. No part of me can be free in a world that requires I make a deal with white supremacy in order to survive. No one I love can be safe in a system designed to cage and to kill. Working together, and working in solidarity with Black leadership, we have the chance to build something new. What a sweet and necessary chance that is.


Uprising Minnesota

Uprising Minnesota offers regularly updated and curated information on how to directly support and uplift the work of Black-led community organizations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. You can visit the website here.

Uprising Minnesota was built directly in partnership with Black Visions Collective, Free Black Dirt, Million Artist Movement, Minnesota Youth Collective, Reclaim The Block, and Women for Political Change.


Minneapolis Organizers Are Already Building the Tools for Safety Without Police

Jae Hyun Shim has written an excellent article about how we came to this moment in Minneapolis.

Read it here!

As Jae Hyun writes, “No sweeping, structural change can happen overnight. And the transition to a police-free Minneapolis will be intentional, measured and collaborative. Right now, it is important to understand that Minneapolis residents have already been taking care of each other, and we will continue to. It’s also worth recognizing that prison abolition is not a reaction to a moment, but a long-time movement backed by decades of Black radical thinking and experience.”


Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police:
A NY Times Article by Mariame Kaba.

Mariame Kaba writes:

“People like me who want to abolish prisons and police, however, have a vision of a different society, built on cooperation instead of individualism, on mutual aid instead of self-preservation. What would the country look like if it had billions of extra dollars to spend on housing, food and education for all? This change in society wouldn’t happen immediately, but the protests show that many people are ready to embrace a different vision of safety and justice.”

Read the full article here.

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