Week of May 10, 2020

1) IGSV May Meeting: Our next group meeting will be this coming Saturday, May 16, from 3-5 pm via Zoom. Ashley DeNegre will give us a primer on coronavirus and COVID-19. For those who don’t know, Ashley is a behavioral epidemiologist by training, with expertise in the influence of human behavior and disease characteristics on pathogen transmission. She holds a PhD in evolutionary biology in from Rutgers University, and a BS in psychology from Mary Washington College.RSVP by email to indivisiblegsv@gmail.com to get the Zoom link!

2) Happy Mother’s Day: Many of us are struggling with being separated from members of our families on this Mother’s Day, but few of us have experienced the separation that incarcerated people and their families endure. This Mother’s Day, civil rights organizations are working to decrease incarceration, especially with the threat of a COVID-19 crisis in our prisons and jails. Read more about these efforts here and consider donating to these organizations: https://www.bet.com/news/national/2020/05/10/when-moms-or-their-children-are-in-prison-on-mothers-day.html.

3) DOJ Corruption: Last week, Attorney General William Barr took our country another step away from democracy and accountability by dropping the case against Michael Flynn. It is clear that this continues the GOP efforts to allow President Trump and his allies to get away with anything. Call all three of our Members of Congress to let them know that this corruption is entirely unacceptable and needs a strong response from Congress, as do Trump’s replacement of Inspectors General across the executive branch with Trump loyalists. You can read more here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/10/long-list-people-who-thought-flynns-lies-were-material/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/01/us/politics/trump-health-department-watchdog.html.

4) Fight Bias: Many of us were horrified by the video and story of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing. This is a perfect time to recommit to fighting bias, including bias that we each hold. There are lots of resources out there, but a few that I recommend include “In the air we breathe” by NPR’s podcast The Hidden Brain (https://www.npr.org/transcripts/531578107), the book White Fragility (https://robindiangelo.com/publications/), the book The New Jim Crow (https://newjimcrow.com), and fellow resister Karen Gaffney’s book Dismantling the Racism Machine (https://dividednolonger.com/dismantling-the-racism-machine-a-manual-and-toolbox/). You can read more about Ahmaud Arbery here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/opinion/ahmaud-arbery-killing.html.

Quote of the Week: “Here’s how we were supposed to beat coronavirus: 1. States would enforce lockdowns to slow the spread. 2. Congress would provide economic relief to buy time for a public health response w/mass testing. 3. The president would mobilize that response. Steps 1 & 2 happened; 3 hasn’t. In fact, the president is now threatening to block further relief as a way of forcing states to end the lockdowns. Instead of accepting his responsibility to do step 3, he’s trying to unravel steps 2 and 1.”—Congressman Malinowski, https://twitter.com/Malinowski/status/1259228902255403011