Hi Rock to the Future family. I wanted to check in with you all. This past week has brought up a lot of feelings for all of us. Please know you can reach out to staff and instructors with any questions or if you just need to talk. I also want to share some tools and resources with you. These include self-care tips, ways you can take action to work towards racial justice, and some resources on the history of civil rights and racial injustice for you to check out or share with others.
Take care of yourself. Your emotions are valid, and that means all of them- even so-called “negative” emotions like anger, despair, and hopelessness. Here are some resources to help your emotional self:
Self-Care Tips for Black People Struggling With This Very Painful Week This guide includes steps like making sure your basic needs are met (Are you eating enough? Drinking enough water? Moving your body?), setting boundaries with friends and your own internet consumption, and taking time to celebrate Black art and artists.
What is Self-Care A great intro to self-care, including ways to check in with yourself and your emotions. This guide recommends journaling, or writing down how you feel or what you are doing, as a great way to work through your thoughts.
Self Care Plan & Sample Completed Self-Care Plan You can use this template to design a unique self-care plan. It includes listing supportive people in your life, outlining your goals, and planning ways to take care of your mental and emotional needs.
Philly Hope Line The Philly Hope Line offers free video and phone counseling services for School District of Philadelphia students, parents, and guardians. Call or text the Philly HopeLine 12-9 p.m. Monday - Friday and 12-4 p.m. on the weekend (or leave a message at any time for a call back). Phone: 1-833-PHL-HOPE (1-833-745-4673)
Get Involved From Home
2020 US Census online. The US Census determines funding for libraries, schools, ACCESS and SNAP benefits, and other community needs. Black, Latinx, and immigrant families have historically been undercounted in the census, which means these communities are underfunded. If your family has not filled out the census yet, encourage them to complete the census to be counted. The census can be completed through mail or online, and takes only a few minutes to finish.
The 2020 primary election is tomorrow, Tues 6/2. Even if you are too young or otherwise unable to vote, helping others to vote and spreading factual information in this time of confusion is a great way to help! If anyone in your household is unsure of who to vote for, the Philadelphia Citizen has a great roundup of local candidates. Mail in ballots are due by 8pm on 6/2, and can be dropped off in special boxes around the city. Your local polling place may have changed because of social distancing requirements, and you can check ahead of time. Some polling places may provide sanitizer for you to use, and all polling places will be sanitizing regularly. Results of the primary help shape the platform for local and state elections, as well as the presidential election, in November.
POWER Philadelphia. This interfaith and multicultural advocacy group is working to create racial justice. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook for ways you can get involved, like their call for artists to submit artwork or videos for their Juneteenth festival.
Vote that Jawn. A youth-led organization that empowers Philly youth to vote and amplifies youth voices. They are currently campaigning to expand mail-in voting for the election this November, which means more people will be able to vote.
11 Things to Do to Support Black Lives Matter This guide from Teen Vogue has suggestions you can do from home, like starting a petition and sharing your rights with your friends and followers.
BuzzfeedNews’ Running List of Hoaxes and Misleading Posts about the Protests These days, misinformation is everywhere online. You can check this list to help you make sure the news you’re seeing and sharing is correct.
Crash-Course in Civil Rights
Deepening your knowledge is a powerful tool. Here are some sources to help you to better understand the history of racial injustice in America:
1619 Project The New York Times’ collection of articles, essays, and stories examines the history and impact of slavery in the United States and the way that legacy shapes our present. The project centers Black voices and shares stories you may not have heard before.
For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies This article is a great place to check in if you are curious about what it means to be an ally for racial justice.
A Performance of Freedom Hidden City's in-depth look at anti-Black racism and laws in Philadelphia, from 1693 to today.
Or check out this list of shows and movies:
13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy (free with Free Library card)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
King In The Wilderness — HBO
See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Take care and I hope your week is full of connection, hope, and healing! Rock to the Future staff is always here to talk and listen, so reach out if you feel uncertain.
Chief Music Officer