ABOUT THE PROJECT
We as White people go through cycles. Something horrific occurs, we pour energy into “thoughts and prayers” (and little else), a new headline emerges, and we move on with our lives, until the next horror occurs.
As a mother of a white child, when I send her to play outside, I worry she may fall and scrape her knee, I worry she may climb too high into an enticing tree and not know how to get down, I worry if she may get lost and not remember her address. These are important things, but these are privileged things. Mothers of Black children have other worries on top of these: worry their children make it home safely, worry their children will be the next victim of a senseless hate crime, worry their children will be wrongfully accused of a crime.
As white people, we need to recognize that thoughts and prayers do not cut it. Action needs to be taken. And the responsibility of that action should not fall upon People of Color. They have fought long and hard. They’re tired. They’re mourning. That responsibility, exhaustion, and mourning falls on every single one of us.
I cried when I heard of George Floyd’s death. I cried when I heard of Breonna Taylor’s death. I cried when I heard of Ahmaud Arbery’s death. I cried because of the injustice, of beautiful and valuable lives lost, and for their families.
I cried when I spoke up about these individuals on social media and was met with unfollows, criticism, and hate. I cried that even in a community I had built to be supportive of one another, there was still hate. But that sadness turned to rage and turned to action. And just like I refuse to forget those peoples’ names, I refuse to forget this feeling.
I have a responsibility as a mother to teach my child how to live. How to treat others with respect and dignity. I have a responsibility to walk-the-walk in front of my child and involve her in these difficult conversations.
In an effort to involve her, and members of my community and communities all over the country, her and I started “The Hang Your Heart” project.
The mission behind this project is simple and presents a quick, actionable task that ANYONE can do to provide relief and support to vulnerable and marginalized populations.
You hang a Green Heart in your window. By doing so, you establish your home as a safe place for a person of color in your neighborhood. If they are fearful because they are being harassed, if someone is trying to cause them verbally or physically, they can look to your home as a safe place. They know they can come to you to provide temporary shelter.
I know this will not fix everything. This will not extinguish the fires of hate and injustice in this country. But it’s a start. It’s a small action item you can do right now. It’s a small action item you can do with your young children. It’s more than thoughts and prayers.
It allows us to begin the conversation with our children about race relations, injustices, safety and privilege. We must make every effort to raise a generation of anti-racists, instead of people who sit back and wait for the cycle to enter “forget mode” again. This is the first, small, actionable step in doing so – and we are proud to have you onboard with us.
If you’d like to participate in this movement, visit: **Please note, this is a self-run, self-supported initiative. We do not and will not accept donations. In lieu of donations here, please consider donating to The Minnesota Freedom Fund. **