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September #2

New name!

Mass Slavery Apology has changed its name to Racial Justice Rising. We think the new name is a better reflection of our goals and mission. The name Mass Slavery Apology will still be used for the project that got us started: our statement of apology for slavery.

Welcome new readers

The members of Racial Justice Rising, a racial justice group based in Franklin County, MA, are ordinary people who are troubled by the persistent racism that plagues this country. Believing that the damage caused by racism must be repaired before our society can be whole, we work for just and respectful treatment for all. We share a vision of a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-faith community.

Our mission is to work for racial justice and system change by:

  • Bringing more people into the anti-racism movement by reaching out, especially to white people, with resources that encourage a deeper understanding of systemic racism and racial justice.
  • Using Mass Slavery Apology, our statement of apology for slavery, to build public acknowledgement of the legacy of slavery and public support for reparations.
  • Addressing conditions of injustice in our own communities.

While much of our work is focused in our local area, we reach out to and are connected with the broader movements in our region and the nation.

Racial Justice Rising’s activities:

Thank you to the speakers and everyone who attended our September 12th program, Youth Speak Out.

We appreciated the experiences and wisdom shared by students, educators, parents, and concerned members of our community.

More photos on our Facebook page.

Join us at our free monthly programs in Greenfield:

All programs are at the First Congregational Church of Greenfield, 43 Silver Street, Greenfield MA 01301. (A big thank you to the First Congregational Church of Greenfield for your support!) They are almost always on the first Saturday morning of the month. Free snacks and childcare. For more info: or

Saturday, October 3:  Mass Incarceration and Imagining Alternatives.  Presenter Mel Motel will lead a conversation about mass incarceration and the connections between today’s prison system and U.S. slavery, racism, and labor exploitation. Together we will consider ideas for positive change.

Check out our new YouTube channel

We will be posting videos of our programs, and more. Currently available:

– One People, One Earth! with Brother NorthStar

– Black Lives/Black History with Gloria De,Layne Matlock and Adam Matlock
– Video of the April 14 Black Lives Matter action in Springfield MA.

Many thanks to George Aguiar!

Articles, websites, and other resources

Black Lives Matter

Justice for Sandra Bland, from Colorlines

– Local hero Rodney Madison’s recent column in the Greenfield Recorder. (If the link doesn’t work for you, you can find the text on our Facebook page, 9/15/15, in the comments.

Hell You Talmbout, with Janelle Monae

Voices From the Movement from Black Lives Syllabus

Black History

Race & Recovery 10 Years After Katrina, an infographic by Miriam Zoila Perez at Colorlines

Criminal Justice & Injustice

– New from Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic: The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Fashion Show About Police Brutality, by Rikki Byrd at


Tribe Wants To Kick Rich People Out Of The Hamptons, by Justin Doolittle at Vice.Com

Eight Protesters Arrested on Mauna Kea, by Greg Kakesako in the Honolulu Star Advisor


The Best and Worst Thing About Being a Student of Color, by Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times

Study Finds White Kids Are Way More Negative About Racial Interactions Than Black Kids – a 10 minute video

Why They Don’t Teach Black History in School, a video with Dr. Joy Degruy


– In Amherst MA, Coming Together is forming a new task force on racism and climate change. The group will develop a message for the community and develop events and materials to communicate that message. Please  e-mail if you are interested in possibly being a part of this new action group, which will coordinate its work with local climate change and racial justice groups. 

Latino Lives

Protesters at Fiesta Expose Santa Fe’s Uneasy History by Daniel Chacon at the Santa Fe New Mexican.

19 Reasons Latin Americans Come to the U.S. That Have Nothing To Do With The American Dream, by Roque Planas in Huffington Post.

Recommended Reading

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates,  a letter to his 15-year old son.  BEAUTIFULLY written, but don’t stop reading when you think you have his point-of-view, because as he continues, he brings more and more “takes” on his experience and that of his son.  New York Times #1 best-seller. (thanks, Pam)

White Privilege/White Antiracism

11 Common Ways White Folks Avoid Taking Responsibility for Racism, another great article by Robin DiAngelo, at Everyday Feminism

–  The Silent “Also” in Black Lives Matter, by David Harris-Gershon in Tikkun Daily


Other groups’ events:

  • Wednesday, September 16, Brattleboro VT: White People Wrestling With Our Own Racism: A Dialogue. 6-8 p.m. in the Parlor at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street, Brattleboro. For more info: or
  • Saturday, September 19, Amherst MA: Amherst NAACP’s 5K Walk For Justice, in collaboration with the New England Area Council of the NAACP. Agenda: To demand legislative changes including cultural competency of police forces, special prosecutors when police are subject to prosecution for serious crimes, requirement for police body cameras, and more.
  • Wednesday, September 19, Manchester NH: Manchester NAACP’s 5K Walk for Justice, in collaboration with the New England Area Council of the NAACP. Agenda: To demand legislative changes including cultural competency of police forces, special prosecutors when police are subject to prosecution for serious crimes, requirement for police body cameras, and more.The walk will start at the Derryfield Club parking lot (near corner of Bridge St. and Mammoth Rd. in Manchester, NH) at 10 a.m. and end at 1:30. For more information: or (603) 624-7334.  Registration link
  • Saturday, September 19, Springfield MA: UROC of Western MA’s Racial Equity Organizers monthly gathering. “During our time together we will facilitate a brief discussion of the future of UROC. The Racial Equity Monthly Gatherings are designed to help individuals committed to Racial Justice and Equity collectively develop a deeper understanding of and address racism in their personal lives, organizations and community. The meetings also provide networking opportunities and support local organizing efforts.” 9:30-12:30 at Richard A. Flynn Campus Union, Springfield College. For more information:
  • Sunday, September 20, Turners Falls MA: Fruitvale Station, film and discussion, organized by CoRaJus
  • Wednesday, September 30, Keene NH: Dr. Angela Davis speaks about The Meaning of Freedom at Keene State College
  • Thursday, October 8, Amherst MA: Fruitvale Station, film and discussion, organized by Coming Together. 7 p.m. at the Jones Library.
  • October 24-January 16, Brattleboro VT:  Lost River Racial Justice Study Group focusing on racial justice organizing in predominantly white rural areas.
  • October 24, Nashua, New Hampshire: Wake Up, Reflect, Learn, Teach, Act conference

 Thank you, readers who send us information for these newsletters!  We welcome links to articles, videos, event listings, and other resources.


Racial Justice Rising

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