Listening to Truth and Taking Action! TTP Summer Newsletter

Dear Family,

In the past months, we’ve been hit by news headlines that have challenged our sense of justice and who we are in this society. From the acquittal of the police officer who murdered Philando Castile, the controversy in the Whitehouse following the 2016 elections, the continued march toward war and the attempts to end the limited healthcare many need for survival. Now more than ever is a time to refocus on truth. Not just the hearing both sides kind of truth. We have to listen, learn and be led by those who are most effected by the oppression and violence of this society. We need a truth that listens to those from the margins — acknowledging the power differentials.

This past April was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech It’s Time to Break the Silence. In the speech, MLK told us that the triplets of evil - materialism, militarism and racism - make us view people as things, not the moral beings that we all are. In this same speech, Dr. King said the United States is the greatest purveyor of violence, but that we could become a new people if we became focused on persons, not things. The focus on things allows those with the most power to leave the rest of us in the cold.

The time for truth telling that leads us to action is more important than ever. While we believe truth and reconciliation is possible, we need a Decade of Truth Telling to highlight our present state and the past that got us here. In Alice Walker’s poem Democratic Womanism, she writes:

“The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave it there.”

This is only part of it. We should be asking ourselves: What do communities need to feel that justice is possible? What are we building, while we resist? What action should be taken, and what repair or reparations is possible? How do we listen, learn and be led by the most vulnerable communities?

These are some of the questions guiding our work. We look forward to your continued participation and would like to share the work in progress — the Online Learning Commons: It’s Time to Listen! While we are still in testing mode, be the first to check out our online learning platform (click here), where we are housing all of the testimony that will help people listen and learn from people and family of those who experience police violence. Over the next year we hope to share this platform with your community to support how stories can be a part of your organizing.

In Love and Struggle,

Cori, Dave and Melinda — Co-Directors, The Truth Telling Project

What have we been up to & coming up next for TTP

See Dr. Ragland and a group of intergenerational activists and scholars speak at a Georgetown commemoration of MLK’s April 4th, 1967 speech. Click here to watch!

David Ragland and Melinda Salazar in Gallup, NM speaking with activist from the Navajo community about Truth Telling.

Organizational Updates:

Some other important items that came out of our recent strategic planning meeting this past May:

We have a new Co-Director! Dr. Melinda Salazar. Melinda has been leading the Truth Telling efforts in Portsmouth, ME. As well, Melinda is one of the founders for the Seacoast Peace Academy.

Chrissi Jackson is our new Assistant Director! She has been with us from the beginning as our media and web coordinator. Chrissi is also the San Deigo field office director for GrassRoots Organizing, where she leads a team that canvasses and helps to raise funds for organizations like Planned Parenthood and Southern Poverty Law Center.

Mori Hitchcock, a recent graduate of Juniata College has become the Outreach and Media Manager. Recently Mori was accepted in the Fellowship of Reconciliation internship program and has previously been the social media intern for TTP.

Some of our new board members include Lizzie Rodriguez of Restorative Community Network in Santa Barbara, CA and Kian Furnace is a graduate student in Public Administration and Program Director in School Age Care/Recreation Program in Durham, NC.

David Ragland and Lizzie Rodriguez at the far ends, share the stage at the Radical Edge of Activism Conference in Santa Barbara, CA June 19, 2017.

News from Ferguson:

Recently Dr. Ragland had a conversation about the Ferguson consent decree process with John Chasnoff, activist around police accountability . Co-Chair for Coalition Against Police Crimes and Collaborative, organizes with the Ferguson Collaborative, Ferguson Privacy Watch. Click here to listen.

The wrongful death suit against Ferguson settled for $1.5 million. Click here to read more about the settlement.

Truth Tellers In the News:

This article describes TTP Co-Director, Pastor Cori Bush in here work to highlight and combat environmental racism. Click here to read.

Palika Makam, Truth Telling Media Coordinator taking her work from Ferguson to South Africa. Click here to read the article.

Kristine Hendrix, University City Missouri School Board Member and Truth Telling Project Board member sues St.Louis City Police after a violent encounter where she was tased after leaving a protest. Click here to read article.

Dr. David Ragland speaks to the Depth Psychology community prior to his keynote at the Radical Edge of Activism at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Click here to read the article and listen to the interview.

More News…

In Missouri, Blue Lives Matter law targets people standing up for their rights. Click here to read more.

The violence against protesters by police during the inauguration is described here.

“Power corrupts absolutely!” and here is the evidence behind that statement. Click here to read

In more news this administration tries to hide what its doing by putting a gag order on reporters. Click here to read.

Changing the Culture through Music…

Former Truth Telling Project Organizer and R&B vocalist Lydia Caesar at Sauce recently released a socially conscious line up. Her new single “Walking Away” speaks to the struggle of love but commitment to hold on by any means. The social message is clear, this society throws people away as standard procedure. The easy way out is to disappear or bury our heads in the sand and let others handle the dirty work of holding police and government accountable. The hard work is staying committed to working things out in relationships, no matter what kind it is.

Reverend Sekou recent album entitled “In Times Like These” call on us to resist! As well, this soulful work is reflective of the Black experience in America. Click here to watch the video and listen to a recent NPR interview and performance.

Clearly conscious, “Raise Hell” featuring Lydia Caesar and others is a resistance trap resistance anthem worth listening to and sharing with your friends in the struggle.

Check out We Stay Woke Podcast — our new episode features music by Lydia Caesar and Truth Teller Kristine Hendrix.

We need more art and music that inspires our movements!

Support Truth Telling and Receive!

The Truth Telling Project needs your support as we disseminate our online learning platform and we push for a decade of Truth Telling, alongside the UN decade for People of African Descent.

In a time where communities of color are on the firing lines and at the brunt of all manners of evil from people in power we ned your support that contributes to reparative justice. Make a tax deductible donation here a donation of $50 or more you will receive a Truth Telling T-shirt

$100 or more will the new signed Reverend Sekou CD “In Times Like These”

With a donation of $200 or more you will the TTP package with two signed cds (Lydia Caesar & Rev. Sekou) and a Truth Telling T-shirt!

Go to thetruthtellingproject.org to donate or click here for your tax deductable donation and gift.

Click here to bring the Truth Telling Collective of Activists and Scholars to speak in your community