Dear Friends of PWN:
Project Write Now stands in support of our Black students and their families and the entire Black community. The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor have spurred the need to confront the deep systemic racism embedded in our country.
Our organization was founded to help amplify the voices of those who are often not heard—including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and historically marginalized groups. Through our partnerships with Red Bank, Long Branch, and Asbury Park schools—as well as local nonprofits dedicated to helping those in need—we have provided the space and encouragement for youth and adults to find their voices and strengthen their communication skills so they can experience personal growth and achieve academic/professional success. Through reflective writing, we offer the opportunity to express how they are experiencing the world, revealing their unique backgrounds and perspectives.
But we recognize we need to do more. There will always be the need to do more.
In our conversations this week, we have reflected on what PWN can do to challenge racial injustice and increase our participation in a movement toward a more just, equitable society.
We have witnessed how writing and sharing stories has the power to effect change by generating greater love, compassion, and empathy in the listener.
With that in mind, we are heightening our commitment to showcase the stories of Black children and adults through our writing workshops, events, and publications. We are keeping the conversations open and ongoing about how we can contribute to fighting racism. We are in the planning stages of holding a youth summit on anti-racism and holding an anti-racist book discussion.
And we are connecting with and supporting our community partners to see how we can better generate and elevate the stories of our diverse community.
But most of all, we are listening and educating ourselves so we can do our best to use the power of writing to disrupt a system that perpetuates racial injustice and become stronger advocates for change.
Here are some of the resources we are exploring and sharing:
National Museum of African American History and CultureAnti-racist books for kids and their caretakers (via White Whale Bookstore)
A nonfiction anti-racist reading list (via Publishers Weekly)
Ibram X. Kendi’s anti-racist reading list (via The New York Times)
Poem-a-Day featuring Black poets for the summer (poets.org)