“Spring irises bloom.
The caged bird no longer sings—
a knee on his throat.”
Dear Persephone’s Daughters readers, contributors, and community,
It is with outrage, grief, and solidarity that we join the voices of those worldwide condemning the heinous, racist acts of police brutality that directly resulted in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, 2020.
As a literary and arts journal with staff members and readers from all over the world, and a home base in Minnesota as our Editor-in-Chief’s place of residence, we grieve for the pain not only of our reeling community in the Twin Cities, but also for all those worldwide who have lost loved ones to police brutality.
Our mission is to uplift the voices of those pursuing peace after trauma, and to provide community and calm through healing art and storytelling. We envision, one day, a world free from violence. Not only from domestic and sexual violence and child abuse, of which many of our readers and contributors have survived, but also from racism, police brutality, systemic oppression, and the sharply entrenched inequities upon which the United States is historically built.
As artists and writers, we hold both the power to bring healing, and the power to illustrate and narrate the violent acts which deny, disrupt, and prolong it. As artists and writers giving voice to other artists and writers, we refuse to remain silent in the wake of abject, intentional terror.
In 2016, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, we brought you the Post-Election Mini Issue, a compilation of voices expressing their pain and anger at the election of a racist, ableist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic individual to one of the highest offices in the United States. Make no mistake – racism is alive and well in America in 2020 because America is an inherently racist project. Racist systems and racist individuals are killing Black men, Black women, and Black transgender folks at epidemic proportions, all with the direct support of this nation’s president.
We implore you to join us in action, however that action may look. Through protest, through provision of bailout funds, through distribution of food and basic necessities to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, to a commitment to hire and value BIPOC leadership, to challenge and actively work to dismantle, everyday, the systems that benefit white communities at the expense of BIPOC communities.
Silence in the face of this terror is in itself a violent act. We encourage you to do all of the above, in addition to donating to the following racial justice funds:
The George Floyd Memorial Fund supports George Floyd’s family with funeral and burial expenses, mental health counseling, lodging and travel for court proceedings, and basic necessities in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Minnesota Freedom Fund, a community-based nonprofit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals arrested. Note: MFF has received a significant influx of donations and is requesting that donations be given to orgs such as Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, detailed below.
Black Visions Collective, a Black, transgender, and queer-led organization committed to long-term success and transformation in Minnesota’s Black communities.
Reclaim the Block, a coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods such as violence prevention, housing, and responses to opioid and mental health crises.
Campaign Zero, an organization that utilizes policy solutions to end police brutality through limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
Northstar Health Collective, a radical healthcare initiative providing health care services and other resources to marginalized communities; currently, they are on the frontlines, safeguarding the health of protestors.
National Bail Fund Network, a compiled list of bail funds across America. Donate to your local bail fund to support protestors in your area!
For those looking to learn more about the racist bedrock of policing, here are some educational resources to get started with:
Transform Harm, a resource hub about ending oppressive violence.
#BecauseWe’veRead, a reading list on policing and police/prison abolition.
A World Without Police, an organization that has compiled a study guide on the police.
In previous communications to our readers, we had stated that all proceeds from the print version of Issue 6 would be donated to the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse. We will now be splitting all proceeds and donating 25% to the Northwest Network and the remaining 75% to Black Visions Collective.
Please join us.
Meggie Royer, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Bhargavi Goel, Prose Reader & Editor
Mikey Jakubowski, Poetry Editor & Film Judge
Taylor Pevey, Prose Reader & Newsletter Staff
Uma Dwivedi, Prose Editor
Elena Torry-Schrag, Poetry Reader
Siam Hatzaw, Poetry & Prose Editor
Delaney Dunn, Prose Reader
Jessica Mazzeo, Art Evaluator & Social Media Team Member
Elijah Noble El, Persephone’s Daughters Film Division Co-Founder
Avleen K Mokha, Poetry & Prose Editor
Eleanor Hough, Poetry Editor
Sarah Shaughnessy, Prose Editor & Poetry Reader
Kim Kaletsky, Prose Reader
Catherine Luo, Art Evaluator
Tanvi Deshmukh, Poetry Editor & Art Evaluator
Rachel Hultquist, Prose Editor
Lakshmi Mitra, Poetry Editor
This post is courtesy of Persephone’s Daughters and is shared here with permission; Mr. Floyd’s photograph is from Wikipedia.
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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton