SEATTLE (August 1, 2020) — During a time when many of us now find ourselves isolated indoors, surrounded by growing racial tension in the community, and on the brink of economic distress, it’s becoming more important than ever to find safe and socially distant ways to cater to our emotional and psychologic well-beings.
Black lives have always mattered (and Black people have been dying at the hands of systemic racism long before this year), however, something about this moment feels different. According to the New York Times, between 15 million and 26 million people in the U.S. participated in demonstrations in the weeks following George Floyd’s murder… making Black Lives Matter the largest movement in our country’s history.
While many of us continue to elevate our voices in the ways and capacities with which we are able, we must also be diligent in creating safe spaces and opportunities away from the front lines to learn, empathize, decompress and grow from these recent experiences.
In August of this year, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle launched one such virtual safe space: ‘The Black Voices Project’ (BVP)!
The Black Voices Project is a FREE virtual Black book club and community dedicated to uplifting Black literary/creative voices through a range of mediums including books, essays, podcasts, and more! Our hope is to facilitate meaningful conversations about systemic racism and Black history while addressing current political, racial, and social issues impacting Black culture.
How it Works
- Join the Club: Anyone who is interested in participating in the BVP can sign-up for free by heading to: https://urbanleague.org/black-voices-project/ and clicking the ‘Join for FREE’ button.
- Read Along: On the 1st of every month, ULMS will pick a text to read for the next 30 days. The text will differ each month ranging from non-fiction to fiction and even poetry. Each book selected will all focus on race, anti-racism, and/or Black culture.
- Tune in to Discuss: Once you are enrolled, you will receive monthly updates on how to read along with us (or on your own) each month, engage in our BVP private facebook group community, get free copies of the books we’re reading, participate in our monthly zoom book wrap-ups, get discounts on tickets to local author events, and much more!
Our goal is to make these books, podcasts, poems and conversations accessible for anyone who is willing to show up for the Black community. We know that anti-racism work doesn’t stop when the protests end. Anti-racism work is a practice! It requires intention and commitment.
For more information about the BVP, our partners, upcoming book selections or any otherwise related questions, please visit https://urbanleague.org/ or contact our BVP staff lead, Zyna Bakari, via ZBakari@urbanleague.org.
Press release submitted by ULMS staff Ashley Pugh & Zyna Bakari