Letters to Summer

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Letter 39

Letters to Summer is a newsletter written by two best friends living on opposite sides of the country. Every other Thursday, we share the things we're reading, watching, listening to, and enjoying. We hope you like it.


We’re forgoing our regular format this week, since what we’re doing recreationally isn’t important right now. Instead, we’d like to encourage you all to donate to folks on the ground protesting the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black folks who have been killed by police violence. Educate yourselves and your loved ones on police abolition, and take care of your communities however you can. We’d also like to emphasize that police violence in the US is ongoing and not just something happening in this moment—the violence that Black folks face is not trendy! Hold onto this energy and continue to donate to anti-racist organizations and bail funds even after the protests slow down. Become aware of community organizations dedicated to fighting oppressive structures. Find your niche in how you can help.

We recommend

  1. Send emails to your government officials. This website has several easy-to-use email templates that you can use to email officials in different cities about the actions of their police. All you have to do is plug in your name and hit send. And this one has email templates for urging your representatives to defund the police department and redirect those funds to education and social services.

  2. Donate to bail funds. Protestors are doing extremely important work right now, and local bail funds ensure that they can continue doing that work. Here is a list of bail funds across the country that could use your help, and here’s a link to split a donation between over 70 of them at once. Several cities that have gotten a massive amount of support over the past week are asking folks to send their donations elsewhere, so please make sure to do your research first!

  3. Donate to mutual aid funds. Don’t forget: we’re in a pandemic. People need supplies, and people on the ground need to be safe, too. This thread has links nationwide.

  4. Refrain from spreading cop propaganda. Officers at various marches have joined protestors, but without actual actions/consequences, this is meaningless because the harmful structures that led us here stay in place.

  5. Join or support abolition organizations. Here are a few to start: Survived & Punished (Bay Area & NYC), Anti-Police Terror Project (Bay Area), Human Impact (does work through a public health lens), People’s Breakfast (Oakland, also does free meals program), API Rise (Los Angeles), Asian Prisoner Support Committee (Bay Area), and Freedom Inc. (Madison). These are geographically centered on just a few places, and some culturally specific—please send us organizations in your location and we can include them in future letters!

  6. Continue to educate yourself on abolition. Here’s a Google Drive with flyers that present alternatives to policing. MPD15, an organization working toward a police-free Minneapolis, has a helpful FAQ on their website. Here are some other essential readings to get you started! Here is a helpful graphic from Critical Resistance that breaks down the difference between reform and abolition.

  7. Keep going! This work doesn’t end today. This website has tons more resources and ways you can take action. Call and email your representatives regularly. Set up recurring donations. Attend protests and vigils in your city if you can. Share helpful, informative posts with your friends, family, and followers. Continue to listen, and continue to learn.