The City of Detroit’s Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity (CRIO) is holding two events (of many) during this month which you can get involved with. One is for professionals looking for employment and the other is for resources for business owners.
We hope your Black History Month is going well and you’ve been learning and keeping safe. We are continuing to look ahead with positive anticipation of having events this summer. Until then, if you’d like to get out you can find low risk meetups posted to our Meetup page periodically. We also have a few announcements below and upcoming events from CRIO!
Additional to periodic meetups, our communication cadence will increase and we will be begin periodically notifying you of Black-targeted development, employment, and business opportunities in our emails. Specifically these will included job and industry networking opportunities from our community partners. In the past these were limited to special interest groups within our paid membership. This will now be expanded to all mailing list subscribers with certain follow-up processes only being available to paid members. If your business or organization would like to submit an opportunity being specifically curated for a Black demographic, we’d love to help spread the word. Just contact us.
Black History Month is
Also, while we’re here, we would like remind everyone, just as we stated in Juneteenth 2020, that our holidays and ancestors not only want us to remember them but to also remember and carry forward the fight they waged. Wither it be remembering Rebecca Lee as the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree, or Loretta Lynch as the first African American woman U.S. Attorney General. They made history and as a result we can achieve even more on their shoulders. We remember their achievements to propel our community and ourselves on to the next one.
2020 was a tumultuous year which we couldn’t have predicted with a crystal ball. Yet somehow you still managed to make it this far. Before the pandemic, BYP brought you very timely events on Black Politics and Personal Financial Management, both of which turned out to be invaluable later in the year for many members. Take the lessons and inspiration from those events and continue to make your own history as well.
The Forgotten Story behind the Statue of Liberty
We’d also like to share with you one interesting piece tied to Black history that is actively trying to be left unspoken. Thankfully, the new Statue of Liberty Museum came to the rescue…
The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants.
The broken shackle and chain at the foot of the Statue of Liberty are often forgotten symbols celebrating the ending of US Slavery. However, they were largely rejected by Black media as being “meaningless and hypocritical” as Blacks continued to suffer increasingly under major oppressive forces in the country including the retraction of Reconstruction.
Today is #Juneteenth 2020. This day is in observation of June 19, 1865, the date on which the last enclave of enslaved Africans, located in Galveston, Texas, learned the US Government had abolished formal chattel slavery nationwide. Aside from various pockets of Africans who continued to be enslaved by rogue slave owners, everyone in the country was now free of formal bondage.
What would ensue after 1865 and well into 2020 would be an informal myriad of continued human rights violations in the form of cons, intimidation, killings, theft, and countless injustices which would form an accrued disadvantage against our people into today. While many of these were informal in their mass coordination, they were nevertheless very systematic and persistent in nature, and hardly ever rebuffed by the government if not outright perpetrated by government.
Today’s most visible elements of that include an ever-growing racial wealth gap, police brutality, and disparate health outcomes, just to name a few. We were brought into this country as the bottom caste in 1619 and are still the bottom caste in 2020, with numerous immigrant groups having arrived and ascended past us. However, that is not our entire story.
Today, what we also have is an undefeatable history of ancestors who are the gold standard for resilience, vision, and love all over the world. It is because of their blood, sweat, and tears that we stand before you today with the ability to post to Facebook, or possibly even create our own Facebook. It is because of them we have the strength to march in the face of militarized police, strive for Black excellence in predominantly white workplaces, and still wake up every day to do it all over again.
So today, on this very critical Juneteenth 2020, we ask all Black Young Professionals to appreciate both the gifts and the wins of our history, and to reflect on what has been tried and what hasn’t. Leverage your creativity and intellect now and going forward to dedicate yourselves to volunteering in the Black community (#Community), connecting with other Black folks (#Social), and learning about Black politics (#Personal).
Community, #Social, and #Personal are the three pillars Black Young Professionals of Metro Detroit was founded on and this is the most important time to keep those in front of us.
With Power and Love,