We've committed to volunteering our team's time to activism. Each employee gets paid to spend a minimum of two hours per week on activism.
At the bottom of this post, you can find some thoughts from us about the activism work we did this week.
Below is a list of what we're doing this week - it's organized so you can easily join us in enacting change.
Black Trans lives
→ Call and e-mail Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and demand a full investigation into Toyin's death.
donations to support black trans people
Direct giving is the most available and requested option to support Black Trans people. Here are some resources to donate to.
→ Black Trans Travel Fund (East Coast)
ACLU Volunteer Calling
We've signed up for the ACLU's Volunteer Call Team. They make it very easy - they provide a call training guide and call scripts.
→ Call your State Representative and demand that the House pass protections for essential workers (phone number lookup and script provided).
→ Call your State Representative and demand the House pass a moratorium on big corporate mergers during the coronavirus crisis (phone number lookup and script provided).
→ Call your Senator and demand they pass the HEROES act to provide specific protections and grants for Black-owned businesses (phone number lookup and script provided).
→ E-mail your state, county and city officials demanding they reform policing.
Find out who represents you and how to contact them
Use this script
→ Call your State Senator and tell them to vote yes on AB 1460 to make Ethnic Studies a California State University Requirement.
Bay area (east bay)
→ (Alameda and Contra Costa County)
Write your county supervisor to demand a Health Not Punishment budget that supports Black Lives Matter by calling to defund/divest the police and invest in community health programs.
Use this e-mail script and instructions
→ Call 844-970-3144(City Council members) and demand they place a charter referendum on the November 2020 ballot to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and establish a new department for community safety and violence prevention.
→ Contact NYC government officials to demand actions to end solitary confinement, justice related to Layleen Polanco's death in solitary confinement, repeal the Walking While Trans Ban and stop bail reform rollbacks.
→ Mayor Bill de Blasio
Demand the end of solitary confinement in City jails.
Demand the public release of the names of and immediately fire correction officers involved in Layleen Polanco's death in solitary confinement at Rikers Island.
→ Bronx DA Darcel Clark
Demand she issue an apology for dead-naming Layleen Polanco in a press release announcing her decision not to pursue criminal charges of officers in connection with Layleen Polanco's death.
718-590-2000 or @BronxDAClark on twitter
→ NY State Senators and Assembly Members (NY state residents)
Urge your NY State Senator and Assembler Member to pass the HALT Solitary Act to restrict solitary confinement in New York State and stop implementation of 2020 bail reform rollbacks.
→ NYC City Council members (NYC residents)
Demand the end solitary confinement in City jails.
Board of Corrections 212-669-7900
→ Call these government officials to demand the release of Clifton Brown
Use this phone script and instructions
thoughts from Team S&S about our activism this week
Neil:This type of work is inherently messy - awkward call scripts, full e-mail inboxes and voicemail boxes, callers hang up on you (but they rarely get angry), sometimes information is outdated. I often abbreviate the or ad-lib call and email scripts. Nothing works perfectly, and that can aggravate my OCD tendencies, but perseverance is the key to making your work effective.
Elliot: Any anxiety I usually have about phone calls is pretty much gone when I’m calling representatives and such, a mixture of anger and frustration at the system and the knowledge that the people I’m calling work for the public are more than enough to keep me calling until I can speak to a person or leave a message.
I’ve found calling representatives and making demands to be really simple. Make sure your representatives know that if they want to keep their job, they need to meet your demands.
Krista:I am finding it gets easier over time to make the calls, and I have a little trouble because I feel like I don’t know very much and that makes me feel anxious,, but the scripts really help me, and I am getting better at it. I've been inspired to do more donations by busking in the Santa Fe plaza downtown for a few hours each week to raise money, as soon as I get over my damn nerves!
Jeremy:I'm really impressed by the ACLU's dialer tool - it's amazing. I've also signed up for text banking with the ACLU as that works better with my schedule - I've got a lot of 10-15 minute gaps that I can spend texting.
James:It's essential that I make activism a part of my life outside my job at S&S. I've made donations to the Western Family Farms CSA, donated $11,000 of my personal artwork (which will donate $5,500 to National Bail Out and $5,500 to Black Trans Advocacy Coalition), joined a team of neighbors and a Land Use Lawyer to amend neighborhood covenants that say no black or “oriental” people can live in the historic neighborhood unless servants. We are amending these covenants to not just take this out but update to reflect the diversity and inclusivity on the neighborhood. I also began conversation with 5. Gallery about donating a percentage of art sales for my upcoming exhibition there to organizations, this will be something I will continue to do with art sales through commercial galleries.
Gen:These Activism Fridays have been an outlet for me to release my storms of mixed emotion from recent events and convert that into positive energy toward this revolution. Since this pandemic, I no longer had a reason to look forward to Fridays until recently when we began our Friday campaigns for the greater good.
Mari:I’m noticing that a lot of scripts are very grammatically clunky and difficult to read out loud, so I'm going to review and update scripts for next week, which I think will go a long way. I've also been inspired to do more fundraising myself by selling old clothes I have and donating 50% of the money to organizations that support Trans people, and the other 50% directly to Trans people in need.
I've also taken the time to make a Linktree to put in my Instagram bio so that people can access resources I find there.