2020 is turning out to be the year of 20/20 vision. The global pandemic is revealing the inequality in the healthcare system as we are losing black and brown Americans at a disproportionate rate. The murder of George Floyd, added to a list, far too long, of other black and brown men and woman murdered at the hands of law enforcement, has made it crystal clear that there is no justice in the justice system. A revolution has been ignited calling for a systemic change, a dismantling of structures and institutions that are not in fact broken, but working exactly as they were designed.
All of us at TMI Project are dedicated to using the power of true storytelling to dismantle the racist systems that are destroying and ending the lives of black and brown people in our local community and nationwide. We will continue to use our programming to provide support, connection, relief, and transformation and use our platform to raise awareness, amplify voices, share resources, and inspire action.
In this charged and pivotal moment in history, we acknowledge our need to deepen our commitment and expand our approach. We want to share some of our plans and the resources we’re finding helpful. We also welcome your suggestions.
1. Internal training
We must start by looking at ourselves. We’re committed to doing the work as individuals and as an organization. I recommend the article How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma by Micahell Kim, which clearly features some suggestions TMI Project regularly puts into practice, like encouraging staff to bring their whole selves to work; acknowledging what is happening in the world; taking time at the beginning of meetings to check-in on a human level; giving people ample time for self-care; and reducing or redistributing labor and/or emotional burden. I also highly recommend So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo which we read last year as a staff. At our retreat, after reading the book, we went through an exercise to explore intersectionality and privilege. TMI Project will plan and share further internal activities for 2020.
2. Expanding Black Stories Matter
Black Stories Matter Virtual Drop-in Storytelling Workshop
Join TMI Project for a Black Stories Matter virtual drop-in workshop led by Workshop Leaders Dara Lurie and Micah. These free workshops are offered as a safe space for Black people to gather, write, share stories, and receive support. The workshops will run every Wednesday evening for 8-weeks and are non-sequential. Consistent attendance is not necessary – come when you can! Workshops run every Wednesday evening from 7pm – 8:30pm from June 24th to August 12th. REGISTER HERE
Accessible Black Stories Matter Content
Stories have the power to increase visibility, raise awareness, change people’s hearts and minds, and inspire people to take meaningful action. We are making every effort to ensure all of our Black Stories Matter content is easily accessible, widely consumed, and is accompanied by tools to deepen the impact.
Listen: The TMI Project Podcast, Season Two: Black Stories Matter, launches this fall. Learn more and subscribe to our podcast HERE
Host: a Black Stories Matter viewing party and discussion from anywhere in the world. Click HERE to learn more and sign up.
Share: TMI Project’s mission with Black Stories Matter is to elevate the underrepresented stories of the Black experience in America – the full spectrum – the triumphs, humor, beauty, and resilience. Click HERE to submit your story to be featured on the TMI Project blog.
3. Shared resources and suggested action items
- COVID 19 Resources
- Healing in Action – A Tool for Black Lives Matter Healing Justice and Direct Action
- Resources for anti-racism activism
4. Diversity and Inclusion Training
We’re in the beginning stages of developing diversity and inclusion training through a storytelling lens. It will include ways to build trust; skills to improve communication; exercises to deepen understanding about the concepts of identity, intersectionality, and privilege; skills to identify and differentiate stories — stock/concealed/resistance/counterstories — and their individual purposes. We will provide additional resources and follow-up action items. If you’re interested in learning more, please email Eva at email@example.com
If you want to be a part of the solution by supporting our Black Stories Matter programming, please make a donation today!
We continue to believe that together we can change the world, one story at a time. If there’s anything else we can do or if you have any questions about how you can be more involved please feel free to reach out. We are open to your suggestions and are happy to supply you with additional resources.
In peace and solidarity,
Eva Tenuto and the TMI Project team