Thank you for investing in us. Let us now support our comrades in resistance and solidarity. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
An open letter
Dear Apogee fam,
As we again witness horrific acts of violence against Black communities, we honor and feel the collective rage and fatigue. We are in solidarity with protesters in Minnesota who are calling for the end of a police state following the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin and other members of the police force. We recognize too that Floyd’s death is part of an extended history of anti-Black violence that involves not only white perpetrators but non-Black people of color as well. We cannot forget that the thread of complicity weaves itself intimately through the fabric of U.S. racism and global anti-Blackness. We must be vigilant then to insist that this violence disproportionately harms the most vulnerable members of Black communities, especially those who are poor, houseless, transgender, nonbinary, and/or disabled. We grieve the loss of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Mychael Johnson, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and endless more. We lift up the struggles of their loved ones to find true justice.
We recognize that the unceasing nature of this violence wears on all of us, especially during this time when we must also bear the weight of a global pandemic—a pandemic exacerbated by disregard for Black, disabled, and POC lives. As a Black and POC-led organization with deep ties to social justice activism, we are thinking critically about the complex alignments between our daily work of publishing and programming, and our greater mission to confront and challenge systems of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalist exploitation.
We started planning our fundraising campaign, Go Live: Community Beyond the Page, before the pandemic started in the U.S.—and certainly before the current Minnesota rebellions received national notice. Given all this, we are astounded by the overwhelming support from all of you. Together, you helped us raise $1221. This sum surpassed our end goal and enables us to pay contributors and showcase their work for all to access.
Even as we thank you for your generosity throughout this campaign, we write to you now with the recognition that we are facing a time of escalated emergency. At this very second, protesters in Minnesota and elsewhere are taking to the streets, bravely confronting tear gas and further police brutality. Protesters who are physically unable to take to the streets are contributing to bail bonds, providing supplies, and phone-zapping police and prison lines.
In the spirit of solidarity with Black communities moving through deep sorrow, mourning, and anger, we ask you to turn your support now towards the following:
- Black Visions Collective. A Black-led Minnesota-based organization working towards healing and transformative justice through local and national campaigns.
- North Star Health Collective. An organizing collective composed of physicians, nurses, healers, herbalists, and doulas working to provide safety for organizers and activists at protests.
- The Legal Rights Center. A community-driven nonprofit law firm that provides legal advocacy and support for those in need of adult criminal and juvenile delinquent defense using a restorative justice model.
- Reclaim the Block, a Black-led Minnesota-based organization fighting for policies that would lead to the defunding of the police, has asked that donations be forwarded to the list of organizations here.
Additionally, to find out where you can donate to bail funds in your state, we suggest locating local organizations using the National Bail Fund Network directory.
At Apogee, our mission as Black and non-Black editors is to showcase art that exemplifies the deep breadth of Black life, joy, tragedy, ingenuity, and history. Always and now, we believe that it is vital to remind the world of the radical spirit in which Black arts thrive. In the next few weeks, we plan to elevate direct action efforts against police violence and also uplift the Black voices we have published in our journal.
We do so with the understanding that reminders of Black trauma by non-Black people can themselves be injurious. As news of protests continues to evolve and media unfolds, we commit to using our platform with care and ask that everyone does so too.
Thank you to all of our new members and donors thus far. You make our work possible, and to remember this in gratitude, we have listed your name on our website. If you are involved in the work of organizing and protests, we wish you strength and safety. If you are impacted and need to rest, we send you hope for some respite. Take care of yourselves. Our work is always renewing.
In strength and solidarity,
Apogee Journal Editors