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Introducing the PAGE2Ferguson Blog Salon

By Imagining America | January 19, 2015

Welcome to the PAGE2Ferguson Blog Salon!

“How do we respect and invite one another into our multiple modes of response?” As PAGE Fellows processed and discussed our role in the aftermath of the November grand jury’s ruling in Missouri, we engaged in many email and video conversations. The opening question was one of many that were prompted in the last few months, as a handful of members of Imagining America’s PAGE program grappled with how we best show our support for the growing movement against institutional racism, structural violence, and police brutality.

As Fellows, we have chosen not to remain publicly silent in response to the tragedies in Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, and the countless other cities which are home to continued police brutality, an unjust legal and policing system, structural violence and white supremacy. We support the growing #BlackLivesMatter movement, its young leaders, and the numerous voices which have, and will continue to, lead through actions, words and art.

We feel compelled to make our engagement and processing of the current events public. We feel called to make visible the multiple ways we each analyze, grapple, hurt, empathize and understand the events as they unfold. We feel responsible to share our own voices and experiences, while also raising questions that prompt conversation and dialogue.

Our response won’t take the form of a single collective statement because we felt that a single document could not adequately encompass the complex, layered nature of our responses. Instead, we are working with the open and flexible format of a blog salon, inviting contributions in our most authentic voices: poems, songs, artistic pieces, essays, collaborative writing, transcripts of dialogues, performance recordings, and more. However, we are united in our intentions and goals for the salon: to stand as a community to make our simultaneous hope, outrage, frustration, mourning, processing, and solidarity both visible and public.

We have invited multiple perspectives from within the Imagining America community to contribute to the salon: PAGE Fellows and Co-Directors, who convene the salon; National Advisory Board members, who show support; and community partners, many of whom are part of the struggle on the ground and in the heart. This is a space to consider our involvement and experience of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.To consider the multiple experiences of those not adequately represented by #BlackLivesMatter, such as Brown, trans, or disabled allies. To consider how these movements have been received by White majorities. What is uncomfortable? What remains to be worked out? What frustrates you? Where can we make an intervention?

This salon is the launching point for continued dialogue and action – to show our commitment to this movement in which we fight for recognition of institutional racism, for the value of Black lives, for awareness of our intersectional identities that we each bring to movement building. Imagining America is what unites us, and we are proud to stand together, nurturing each others’ voices and experiences. Join us as we help one another learn from and process this moment.

We welcome reflections and dialogue from anyone within the Imagining America community. Please, consider leaving a comment on the posts.