We are fighting two vicious diseases simultaneously in America right now: COVID-19 and systemic racism. Protests have emerged across the country after the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless more that were not captured on tape. The nation is crying out for justice. We are crying out with them.
We must stand as proud allies of the Black community. We should educate ourselves in the history of systemic racism in this country. We should celebrate Black lives, Black businesses, and Black culture. We should support organizations that fight for racial equality and justice.
Our campaign has compiled the following resources on how to be an ally of the Black community in our district. Feel free to reach out to Team Sri if you have more ideas on how we can support this inspiring movement at firstname.lastname@example.org. This page isn’t perfect, but it’s a start and we want your feedback on how to improve.
Local Organizations to Support
We’re grateful to have many inspiring organizations here in Houston that are fighting for justice.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) seeks to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights for the Black community through civil rights advocacy efforts.
ACLU of Texas
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State. Since its formation in 1938, the ACLU of Texas has worked in the courts, the legislature, and through public education to protect civil rights and individual liberty. The ACLU of Texas has been pivotal to securing civil rights for the Black community.
Black Lives Matter Houston Chapter
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. The Black Lives Matter Foundation seeks to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter amplifies and advocates for Black issues and spotlights Black arts and culture.
Support Houston's Black Creators
Being an ally means celebrating the incredible art and music of the black community.
Project Row Houses
Project Row Houses is a community platform that enriches lives through art with an emphasis on cultural identity and its impact on the urban landscape. We engage neighbors, artists, and enterprises in collective creative action to help materialize sustainable opportunities in marginalized communities. Project Row Houses occupies a significant footprint in Houston’s Historic Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. The site encompasses five city blocks and houses 39 structures that serve as home base to a variety of community enriching initiatives, art programs, and neighborhood development activities.
The Ensemble Theatre
The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community. He observed that professional roles were few and far between for black actors, and his frustration led him to create his own company, then known as The Black Ensemble Company. Hawkins’ goal was to create a theatre that would provide diverse roles for black artists.
To maintain social distancing, The Ensemble Theatre is hosting livestream play-readings!
Bisong Art Gallery
Founded in 2013, Bisong Art Gallery is a Black-owned art gallery located in downtown Houston. Bisong is deeply rooted in the community and provides art exhibitions, workshops, painting classes, weddings and corporate receptions to name a few.
The Gite Gallery holds one of the most comprehensive and beautiful African art collections in the country, featuring beautiful and unique art and artifacts such as original paintings, hand carved wooden statues, bronze sculptures, tribal masks and hats, brightly colored textiles, select vintage accent furniture and more, all from sub-Saharan Africa.
Houston Museum of African American Culture
The Houston Museum of African American Culture seeks to collect, conserve, explore, interpret, and exhibit the material and intellectual culture of Africans and African Americans in Houston, the state of Texas, the southwest and the African Diaspora for current and future generations.
#ArtforJustice Virtual Art Gallery
Looking for more inspiring art? Fort Bend County recently unveiled the #ArtforJustice virtual art gallery, featuring the work of over 150 young artists. The art not only honors the life of George Floyd, a native Houstonian, but inspires action against racism. Enter the virtual art gallery here.
Local Businesses to Support
Let’s stand with the Black community by supporting black-owned businesses here at home.
- Sugar’s Cajun Cuisine & Bar: 3424 FM 1092 RD #290 Missouri City, Texas 77459
- Nuksy’s Fine Catering, LLC: 229 Murphy Rd, Stafford TX 77477
- Boogies Chicago Style BBQ: 1767 Texas Pkwy Missouri City, Texas 77489
- Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe Pearland: 10500 W. Bellfort Ave, Unit 100 Houston, TX 77031
- B’s Wine Bar: 8770 Hwy 6 #300, Missouri City, TX 77459
- Smallcakes- Friendswood: 3141 FM 528 Rd #348, Friendswood, TX 77546
Crucial to being an ally of the Black community is educating oneself on Black history, culture, and issues.
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Michelle Alexander
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
- Evicted by Matthew Desmond
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
More Resources (Courtesy of The Best Schools)
- 1619 Project podcast from the New York Times
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) FREE on iTunes for the month of June
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Other Ways to Get Involved
Contacting your local politicians and staying informed on what they are doing to address systemic racism!
State Representatives that represent districts within TX-22
District 25: Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen
District 26: Representative Rick Miller
District 27: Representative Ron Reynolds
District 28: Representative Gary Gates
District 29: Representative Ed Thompson
District 85: Representative Phil Stephenson
District 129: Representative Paul Dennis
District 131: Representative Alma Allen
District 145: Representative Christina Morales