My daughter Stella and I have had a front row seat to the protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd. Our balcony overlooking 8th Street and Broadway is 12 stories above where thousands of peaceful protesters marched during the day and a birds eye view of the civil unrest that happened over 3 sleepless nights in Greenwich Village.
We are living history. I struggle to explain to an 8 year old in truthful but simple terms what is happening and why. The Monday morning after the unrest, Stella and I logged into her Google distance learning meeting just like every school day during the new normal. I worried that nothing would be said about what happened below our balcony Sunday night. Stella’s 2nd grade teacher Ms. Kwon addressed our living history immediately. She asked if everyone had heard about George Floyd’s murder and if they had seen any of the protests. Ms. Kwon told us about a book she had written called “The Unforgettable Story of George Floyd” and began reading it to the class. A discussion followed that would be the envy of the United Nations. If second graders ruled the world, what a wonderful place it would be. READ THE BOOK HERE if you are searching for a conversation starter with your elementary school aged children.
My daughter’s public school in Greenwich Village is one of the best elementary schools in Manhattan (in my opinion). Its famous alumni include Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Adam Horovitz (of the Beastie Boys) and many others. We have some diversity at our school. There are many different nationalities and children of color. However, there are very few black children. I would say that there is hardly any socioeconomic diversity to speak of. Attending a school like this is white privilege or socioeconomic privilege (which is often the same thing). Ok, so it’s “woke white privilege”, but it’s still white privilege. The question is, what am I going to do about it? Here is how I am supporting the current climate of change:
- Announcing my allyship with Black Lives Matter.
- Listening to my friends and colleagues of color even when they might have difficult feedback to hear.
- Learning as much as I can about the hardships faced by people of color in America now and historically.
- Raising awareness and money for organizations I believe are making a difference like IntegrateNYC and The Robin Hood Foundation.
I choose to support Integrate NYC with my art, my speech and my wallet. Integrate NYC is a youth-led organization that stands for integration and equity in New York City schools. Purchase my Lady Liberty Black and White image in any format and 100% of the profits will go directly to IntegrateNYC through June 2021.
Studio Laura Loving Black Lives Matter Statement
- I support The Black Lives Matter movement challenging systemic oppression, structural racism and police brutality.
- I grieve the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many countless others.
- I stand with the black community and other communities of color, as well as those who are disenfranchised or discriminated against based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.
- I stand against police brutality in all forms. I stand against the widespread alienation of black, brown, and immigrant communities and any attempt to silence them at the voting booth.
- I stand against discrimination in economic and educational opportunity, in housing and in access to medical care.