Say their names with us:
EMMETT TILL – MEDGAR EVERS – DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR – HENRY SMITH – JOHN CRAWFORD III – MICHAEL BROWN – EZELL FORD – DANTE PARKER – MICHELLE CUSSEAUX – LAQUAN MCDONALD – TANISHA ANDERSON – AKAI GURLEY – TAMIR RICE – RUMAIN BRISBON – JERAME REID – MATTHEW AJIBADE – JAMES N. POWELL JR. – FRANK SMART – NATASHA MCKENNA – TONY ROBINSON – ANTHONY HILL – MYA HALL – PHILLIP WHITE – ERIC HARRIS – WALTER SCOTT – WILLIAM CHAPMAN II – ALEXIA CHRISTIAN – BRENDON GLENN – VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA – JONATHAN SANDERS – FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR. – JOSEPH MANN – SALVADO ELLSWOOD – SANDRA BLAND – ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS – DARRIUS STEWART – BILLY RAY DAVIS – SAMUEL DUBOSE – MICHAEL SABBIE – BRIAN KEITH DAY – CHRISTIAN TAYLOR – TROY ROBINSON – ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY – FELIX KUMI – KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD – JUNIOR PROSPER – LAMONTEZ JONES – PATERSON BROWN – DOMINIC HUTCHINSON – ANTHONY ASHFORD – ALONZO SMITH – TYREE CRAWFORD – INDIA KAGER – LA’VANTE BIGGS – MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL – JAMAR CLARK – RICHARD PERKINS – PHILLIP PANNELL – NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT – BENNI LEE TIGNOR – MIGUEL ESPINAL – MICHAEL NOEL – KEVIN MATTHEWS – BETTIE JONES – QUINTONIO LEGRIER – KEITH CHILDRESS JR. – JANET WILSON – RANDY NELSON – ANTRONIE SCOTT – WENDELL CELESTINE – DAVID JOSEPH – CALIN ROQUEMORE – DYZHAWN PERKINS – CHRISTOPHER DAVIS – MARCO LOUD – PETER GAINES – TORREY ROBINSON – DARIUS ROBINSON – KEVIN HICKS – MARY TRUXILLO – DEMARCUS SEMER – AMADOU DIALLO – WILLIE TILLMAN – TERRILL THOMAS – SYLVILLE SMITH – DEMETRIUS DUBOSE – ALTON STERLING – PHILANDO CASTILE – TERENCE CRUTCHER – PAUL O’NEAL – ALTERIA WOODS – BOBBY RUSS – JORDAN EDWARDS – AARON BAILEY – RONELL FOSTER – STEPHON CLARK – COREY CARTER – ANTWON ROSE II – TAYLER ROCK – MALICE GREEN – RAMARLEY GRAHAM – ELIJAH MCCLAIN – AIYANA STANLEY JONES – BOTHAM JEAN – PAMELA TURNER – DOMINIQUE CLAYTON – SEAN BELL – ATATIANA JEFFERSON – JEMEL ROBERSON – JAMES LEE ALEXANDER – RYAN MATTHEW SMITH – DERRICK AMBROSE JR. – ADDIE MAE COLLINS – CAROL DENISE MCNAIR – CAROLE ROBERTSON – CYNTHIA WESLEY – NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR. – CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD – VICTOR WHITE III – CHRISTOPHER MCCORVEY – TIMOTHY THOMAS – REGINALD DOUCET JR. – DANROY “DJ” HENRY JR. – KARVAS GAMBLE JR. – ERIC REASON – KORRYN GAINES – REKIA BOYD – KIONTE SPENCER – DARIUS TARVER – WAYNE ARNOLD JONES – MANUEL ELLIS – VICTOR DUFFY JR. – KOBE DIMOCK-HEISLER – CLINTON R. ALLEN – TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN – COREY JONES – TYRE KING – ERIC GARNER – MILES HALL – KENDRICK JOHNSON – MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN – TRAYVON MARTIN – RENISHA MCBRIDE – OSCAR GRANT III – BREONNA TAYLOR – KALIEF BROWDER – DARRIEN HUNT – TROY HODGE – WILLIAM GREEN – AHMAUD ARBERY – TONY MCDADE – JAMEL FLOYD – GEORGE FLOYD – RAYNARD BROOKS
These Black men and women died because of the color of their skin. There are thousands of more names not included in this list, not mentioned on the news, and not chanted during protests. But that doesn’t mean that we still don’t feel and carry the weight of their deaths with us.
Writers in Residence supports and stands with the Black Lives Matter movement because we also condemn hate, violence, and systemic oppression of the Black community. Our organization teaches youth who are incarcerated how to express themselves through creative writing in a way that frees and uplifts their voices, so that others in our communities become aware and understand that not only is the criminal justice system disenfranchising the Black community en masse, but also that this population deserves dignity, empathy, and our advocacy too.
To demonstrate our support and solidarity, Writers in Residence will take immediate actions to further our education of systemic racism’s prevalence within our organization as well as the academic and criminal justice institutions that we partner with to recognize, denounce, and eradicated hate, violence, and systemic oppression of the Black community. Here are examples of our immediate actions:
- We will commit to educating ourselves and our student volunteers, mentors, and advisors with books, reports, articles, documentaries, movies, tv-series, podcasts, lectures, and interviews around systemic oppression of the Black community, specifically as it pertains to mass incarceration.
- We will recruit more student volunteers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) every semester from each current and future cohort.
- We will teach our residents more creative writing produced by BIPOC and authors who identify as LGBTQ+.
- We will ensure that most of our Board of Directors, mentors, and advisors are BIPOC who have also been impacted by the criminal justice system.
- We will promote more local, Ohio-born authors who are BIPOC and provide educational resources about systemic oppression of the Black community on our website.
These immediate actions are grounded in our central belief that the population we work with deserves to learn from, connect with, and be governed by an organization that looks and identifies as them.
Click here to learn more about some of the names listed above whose lives were cut short yet whose stories were immortalized.