Dear Mayor Weinberg and Council Members Fisher, Trout, Dale, Haseman, Reed, and Brown,
We hope you are doing well. As the four co-chairs of the Golden Anti-Racism Collective, we wanted to give you a quick update on what has been happening since Council approved the banner resolution and the resolution in committing to action around anti-racism in Golden.
First, we want to again express our thanks for your action on both resolutions. Your dedication to fighting racism and taking action to support and protect the black community is admirable. We are proud of you, our elected officials, and we thank you for your work.
Second, we want to provide you with some updates about GAC activities since the August 27th Council Meeting:
Approval and Enthusiasm from Young Voters and Residents
We shared photos on social media of the banner after it was hung from the Welcome Arch on September 9th. These photos blew up and “went viral” among young people in and around Golden. The images have gained over 1,000 likes and approximately 70% of those likes are from high school and college students. A majority are from Golden High School, Lakewood High School, and the School of Mines, but we are also seeing a good number of students who are in college out of state sharing the banner and how proud they are of Golden, their hometown.
Approval from Golden Businesses
In addition to young people, the social media posts also garnered significant traction with Golden businesses. We have received likes, shares, and general messages of approval from the following businesses:
Golden History Tours
Nomad Taqueria + Beer Garden
Vaia Salon & Spa
The Golden Wellness Center
Virtuosity Dance Centre
Colorado School Of Mines
Denver Track Club
Wild Roots Living
Community Conversations in Partnership with the School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library
The Golden Anti-Racism Collective has partnered with the Arthur Lakes Library at the School of Mines to host a series of Community Conversations around the intersection between race, community, and literature. This will be an ongoing series kicking off on October 22nd with a discussion about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. We invite you to join the conversation on the 22nd. Learn more here and register for the event here.
Ongoing Partnerships with Student Groups at Mines
In addition to the formal partnership with the Arthur Lakes Library, GAC has also established connections with various student groups at Mines. Several of our members are students and have been actively recruiting new members at Mines. GAC has also been invited to present to the School of Mines Student Government Assembly (details TBD).
Anti-Racist Education: Curriculum Development and Advocacy
The GAC Education Working Group is actively creating a library of anti-racist lessons and curriculum material for use in K-12 schools in and around Golden.
Community Discussion on False Choice in Partnership with Foothills Art Center
GAC partnered with the Foothills Art Center to host a Community Conversation around False Choice and False Binaries on Thursday September 3rd. Attendees were invited to explore the FAC’s current exhibition, False Choice, and then sit to discuss the intricacies of this conversational pitfall, its most prominent examples, ways to neutralize it, and our own personal experiences. The event was designed to give attendees a tool to better bridge the ideological gaps that have formed in a political culture fraught with false choices just in time for an assuredly tumultuous election season. The event was well attended (approximately 40) and feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive. We hope to expand our partnership with the FAC to host more events in the future.
Get Out The Vote and Voter Education Efforts
GAC has undertaken ambitious measures to get out the vote in and around Golden. During our last meeting, we hosted a guest speaker from Common Cause, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting free and fair elections. The presenter spoke on the importance of voting, how to register to vote, and certain pitfalls to avoid when voting. In addition, we have compiled a library of voter education materials to share with our membership and are exploring additional ways to get out the vote, including partnerships with other nonpartisan organizations such as the League of Women Voters and voter registration tabling in downtown Golden.
Partnerships with JeffCo Social Justice Organizations
We have also made contact with several other organizations in Jefferson County with similar missions to our own and have formed a collaborative informally known as JeffCo for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). Collaborative member organizations include:
Wheat Ridge for Equity
Arvadans for Social Justice
Evergreen Coalition for Racial Justice
Golden Anti-Racism Collective
Lakewood for JEDI
JeffCo DA Candidate Virtual Forum
JeffCo for JEDI (see above) has teamed up with the Colorado Criminal Justice Coalition to host a virtual DA Candidate Forum this Friday October 2nd. We invite you all to attend. Details below:
JeffCo DA Candidate Forum: A Nonpartisan Virtual Event
Featuring Matthew Durkin and Alexis King
Friday, October 2, 2020. 6-7:30 p.m.
Sign up here to receive the sign-on information
Ongoing Work in Partnership with City Council and the City of Golden
We are looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with Council and the City to move forward anti-racist policies and reforms. We would love to schedule another meeting with the JEDI Subcommittee to discuss next steps in regard to Resolution No. 2748. We are particularly interested in partnership around anti-racist, diversity, equity, inclusion and allyship training for City Council, City Staff, and the general public. We have identified several prospective organizations/individuals who specialize in diversity and inclusion training who we believe would provide a wonderful initial training/conversation starter.
Inviting YOU to Join the Conversation
Please accept our invitation to join the Golden Anti-Racism Collective, either in our General Meetings (second and fourth Wednesdays of the month) or via one of our three working groups:
Policy & Policing
If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can put you in contact with the right person. In addition, we’d like to specifically invite you to the Outreach working group’s meetings, every other Wednesday at 4pm at Lyons Park. First meeting is October 7th.
The Golden Anti-Racism Collective is Growing - Your Constituents CARE About Anti-Racism
Despite the fact that we have conducted minimal marketing or outreach efforts outside of our meetings and advocacy around the two council resolutions, GAC membership is growing at an impressive pace. Since our initiation in mid June, our membership has grown by 47%. With ~370 members, the GAC is a robust collective of constituents and voters.
Addressing Pushback and Negativity
We know that you are receiving pushback because of your decisions to hang the Golden Stands with Black Lives banner and approve resolution No. 2748. We’re sorry that you are having to deal with that negativity. We hope that the messages are constructive and not too critical or aggressive. Please know that not all the feedback is negative. In fact, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback not only from Golden residents, but from visitors, Jefferson County organizations, young people, businesses and more. The people of Golden support you and your decision to take action against racism and oppression. You made the right choice. We stand with you and we will support your continued efforts addressing racism every step of the way. Do not feel overwhelmed or attacked. Know that you have allies and supporters throughout Golden who appreciate you and send their thanks for your willingness to step up and do the right thing.
Both as co-chairs of the GAC and as individuals, we want to sincerely thank you. We know that this work is hard, especially now, as our country is more sharply divided than ever before. We also know that you are willing to do the hard work, you’ve proven it with your actions, and we want to thank you for that. This is just the beginning. We will continue to work alongside you to build a more just, welcoming, and equitable Golden.
Ty Scrable, Annie Albrecht, Jason Spaniol, and Halley Hadfield
Co-Chairs of the Golden Anti-Racism Collective