Call to Action #1

| words by: william osiecki
filed under: #misc

hello topshelf friends and family. william here. you may not know me. i'm usually behind the scenes doing pr stuff for our artists. nice to meet! i wish it were under better circumstances.

yesterday, in solidarity with those protesting against anti-Black state violence, kevin & seth allocated $500 for our staff to split to funds of our choice. because i'm from atlanta and spent the majority of my life there, i chose to split my allocated $125 to Racial Justice Action Center and Women on the Rise, two orgs who co-lead a movement called Close the Jail ATL.

Close the Jail ATL is working to close the Atlanta City Detention Center, which is sucking up millions of dollars every year, dollars which could be better spent uplifting people and communities. bonus: it's also where the APD is booking those arrested for participating in uprisings across the city.

donate to Close the Jail ATL and/or sign the petition to defund and repurpose the jail as a community wellness center.

while bail funds are extremely important, many are currently overwhelmed with support. needs change fast in this kind of situation. i strongly encourage you to find people in your city who have *been* on the ground doing the work for a while. i promise you there already exist orgs in your city working toward the necessary goals of decarceration, abolition, and defunding police. state-sponsored anti-Black racism did not begin last week with the murder of George Floyd.

i'm sharing below a few other ATL-based efforts to help those affected by state violence, as i believe specific recommendations to our audience are more actionable than broad-focused resource dumps (although those are great resources!)

Redistribute ATL

"You're here because you have access to resources you want to redistribute to protect Black lives. Be willing to upset your current social structures to redistribute resources and help Black life. Put as much identifying contact info that you feel comfortable sharing along with what access to resources you have. Resources can be anywhere from monetary support to trade specialties."

Atlanta Solidarity Fund

"Experienced volunteers track arrestees through the criminal justice system, helping to ensure that their rights are respected. As funds allow, the Solidarity Fund provides cash to get arrestees released from jail as soon as possible. We work with arrestees to help them get access to a lawyer, and assist them in navigating the legal system."

Homeless Black Trans Women Fund ATL

"This is fund for the community of Black Trans women that live in Atlanta and are sex workers and/or homeless. So far, we have been able to get 5 girls cell phones, gotten them hotel rooms during vulnerable times, and got 2 housing in a rooming house. This fund also covers food and necessities. Atlanta has almost no resources for Transgender women, so I took matters into my own hands."

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