You heard Rashawn's story. You identified with him. You were shocked. You were bewildered. You were scared. You were disappointed. In New York's tri-state area, you saw the media's cruel sensationalism. Elsewhere, you saw nothing at all.
You blogged. You lit candles. You said prayers. You vowed to do something. You called for action.
Well, for those of you who want to show Rashawn's murderer, the media and the world that you refuse to sit idly by while another tradegy goes under-reported and unsolved, there are a number of ways for you to get involved and make a difference. The following list represents concrete ways for you to stand up and address the injustices at play. We needn't feel powerless any longer.
1. Today in Manhattan:
Blogger Troy Notorious has worked with Cody Williams to organize an impromptu dialogue about how we can respond to the tragedy. They have extended an invitiation all inviduals who take issue with how the media has covered the story and "demand that the New York City police place a high priority on this case". The meeting is tonight, Thursday, March 10th, at Day-O's Resturant in the NYC's West Village in at 6:00pm.
103 Greenwich Ave
New York 10014(At 12th St)
2. Sunday in Brooklyn:
This Sunday, March 13th, 2pm-7pm, Black Funk will be the site of a community gathering and ritual to remember Rashawn, offer healing and comfort to the spirit of Rashawn given the violence of his transition and the desecration of his body, offer healing to each other as we acknowledge the pain this murder has caused in the community, pray for justice, and discuss community action.
241 Taaffe Place #209
At the corner of DeKalb Avenue in Bed Stuy/Clinton Hills
G train to Classon Avenue;
B38 to Classon Avenue;
B44 or B48 to DeKalb Avenue
3. Sunday, March 20th in Brooklyn:
The Sakia Gunn Film Project fundraiser. Sakia Gunn was a 15-year-old African American lesbian woman who was stabbed to death early May 11, 2003. Chas. B. Brack, Executive Producer/Director of the film calls it "a story of the continuing invisibility of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people of color". It is imperative, therefore, that we support the project and acknowledge the interconnections of Gunn and Brazell's lives and brutal murders.
I am attending this event and am willing to pay the $15 donation for anyone who might be interested but doesn't have the money to spare. So, no excuses -- come dance with me, dine with me and let's enjoy the film together! For those of you who are not in the NYC area, you can support the project by making a charitable donation here.
Sunday March 20th at 3:00pm.
1027 Atlantic Avenue [Near Franklin Avenue]
Food, Fun and Dancing!
Screen starts promptly at 4:56pm.
4. March 22 (tentatively)
The New York State Black Gay Network shares our concern about Rashawn's murder and are currently planning a community forum in Brooklyn, the borough that Brazell called home. The goals of the forum, as I understand them, would be as follows:
a. To provide the commuity with updates on the case;
b. To connect the community with Brazell's friends and family;
c. To allow organizations (think NYSBGN, AVP, GMAD, POCC, ALP) to enter into direct dialogue with individuals in the community about how best to shape our response.
d. To provide a forum for safety education
5. Anytime, Anyplace
Bernie, a fellow blogger, has provided a WONDERFUL list of 5 ways to translate your anger, outrage and sorrow into acts that "raise the level of public awareness about the murder of Rashawn Brazell and create the type of dynamic tension needed to get authorities to agressively pursue this case". He has also provided links to a number of television stations, radio stations, and newspapers as well as the city council member responsible for the district where Brazell resided, so that you may contact them directly to demand action. Write on Bernie! We all appreciate your vigillance.
Rod, a blogger and veteran newsie, has provided the direct telephone lines for 3 prominent newsrooms, allowing you to bypass receptionists. He instructs: "You should call, be very polite and for the assignment editor or manager. Say you'd like to see more coverage of the Brazell investigation and you're very concerned." Thanks Rod for helping us make our voices heard, literally!
Well, there you have it folks; several concrete ways for you to move from anger to action. Regardless of your budget, geographical location, religious stance or literary prowess, there is a way for our to get involved and to make a change. Keep me posted in your successes and I'll do the same.