From: Melody Adams
To: Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
Cc: “email@example.com” ; “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: Statement on Ferguson, MO Grand Jury Decision & My Proposed Response
I hope that all is well with you. In your letter below, you wrote:
“We must continue to make change with our dollar – we must support our community businesses in order to lift up our community, therefore lifting our economic influence.” In order to see change we must not only as young professionals but as a community come together to MAKE THE CHANGE. Rise to make your voice be heard. Rise to make your dollar empowered. Rise to make your choice matter.”
I want you to know, that I appreciate your call to action, and agree with you. However, I don’t see a specific call to action that would allow our community, and the masses of outraged people from all over the New England area, to effect real change right now. Therefore, I propose that we use Black Friday-Cyber Monday (the biggest shopping days of the year), and the entire 5 week shopping period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day to demonstrate of our economic strength, desire for change, and show support for our brothers and sisters in Ferguson.
There have been calls for a national Black Friday/ holiday season blackout from clergy, community leaders, and organizations all over the nation (please see links below); and I think that Boston, and our N.E. neighbors, should join that movement, and demonstrate the power and effectiveness of the black community when we work together as one. Since a large portion of all U.S.retail revenue will be generated during the next 5 weeks, there may be no better time for us to “make our voice heard”, flex our economic muscle, and be noticed in a positive way, while supporting local businesses in our own communities.
We can simply issue a call to action (using social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and/or YouTube to go viral quickly) to shop only with black-owned businesses, during Black Friday weekend (Thursday November 27th-Monday December 1, 2014), and every Friday during the holiday season (as some cities have proposed); or we can choose our own weekends to protest. A good friend of mine suggested that we conduct a blackout during Kwanzaa, for Ujamaa “Collective Economics” day on December 29th) as well, which is another good idea.
Since no two organizations, outside of the black church, understand the power and impact of active non-violent, economic, civil rights protests better than the Urban League and the NAACP, I have copied Darnell Williams and Michael Curry on this email, and would like their input. So, Ms. Villarson, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Curry, what do you think? Are the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston Branch of the NAACP interested in joining the national Black Friday/holiday blackout, or organizing our own economic blackout?
I would greatly appreciate a response at your earliest possible convenience, as our community will need to act quickly to achieve the best results. If we ask all of our members, and contacts, to reach out to their personal networks tomorrow, and on Thanksgiving Day, and spread the “No Justice, No Profit” message, we could make a huge statement, and start some really big conversations! I look forward to hearing back from you, and hope that you each have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Melody L. Adams
After grand jury decision in Ferguson, calls to #BoycottBlackFriday
‘No Justice, No Profit’: Pastor calls for Black Friday
“A pastor in Missouri is among those calling for a boycott of the Black Friday Sales as part of ongoing protests over the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown”
A Social Media Push to Boycott Black Friday
“The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition is encouraging protesters to hit the nation “where it hurts” and boycott any holiday spending.”
#NotOneDime: Black Friday Boycotts Planned To Protest
- Original letter from YPN
- : : : : : : :
From: Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:38 PM
Subject: Statement on Ferguson, MO Grand Jury Decision
Good Afternoon YPN’ers, Friends & Supporters,
As we all have seen and heard last night or this morning, the grand jury of Ferguson, MO has decided to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager on August 9.
Is there disappointment? Yes. Is there anger? Yes. Is there an incredulous belief of the justice system process? Yes. But where do we stand now? Where do we GO FROM HERE?
If you are feeling like me, I am sick and tired of being ‘sick and tired’. This is more than just about race, although race plays a major role. But this is also about social inequality – where urban city dwellers are consistently subjected to increased violence and poor education standards. This is also about economic inequality – where families across the racial spectrum have to decide whether to pay the gas bill or feed their family. This is also about the over militarization of our local police forces and the lack of training that comes with not only using military-grade tools but also as being a law enforcement agency dealing with everyday citizens – not combat.
Protesting is not enough. Marching is not enough. Social media ‘stand-outs’ are NOT ENOUGH. They are merely just the beginning. In order to see change we must not only as young professionals but as a community come together to MAKE THE CHANGE.
We must continue to make change with our pens – writing to our state and federal elected leaders to demand action. We must continue to make change with our voices – attending and participating in community, city and state meetings that involve the communities we live in and care about. We must continue to make change with our dollar – we must support our community businesses in order to lift up our community, therefore lifting our economic influence. We must continue to make changes with our choice – your vote matters in local elections, in state elections and in national elections. If the people WE elect into office are not doing what their constituents are asking them to do than it is time they understand the power of the people.
If you are ready to MAKE THE CHANGE than I ask that you rise. Rise to make your pen be respected. Rise to make your voice be heard. Rise to make your dollar empowered. Rise to make your choice matter.
Rise with me and the Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts as we work to Empower Our Community and Change Lives.
This is YOUR TIME. This is YOUR MOVEMENT…..RISE.
Yours in The Movement,
Rachelle N. Villarson
President, 2014 – 2016
Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
88 Warren St.
Roxbury, MA 02119