What Can I Do?

June 4, 2020

Judy Maggio

Protesters demonstrate against police brutality on the steps of the Texas State Capitol bulding on Sunday. Photo by Robert Moorhead.

Protesters demonstrate against police brutality on the steps of the Texas State Capitol bulding on Sunday. Photo by Robert Moorhead.

“Our community and our country are at a crossroad that begs for lasting change and action.” — Judy Maggio, Editorial Director, Austin PBS

Protests over police brutality have reached levels not seen since the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Decades of disparities, the ugly realities of racism and acts of police violence are spilling into the streets. Our community and our country are at a crossroad that begs for lasting change and action.

At Austin PBS, we’ve always strived to give our viewers deep stories that provide perspective on inequities in areas such as education, healthcare and housing — stories that amplify solid solutions and diverse voices. We pledge to continue shining the light on injustices and disparities in our community.

But this is a defining moment, when we all need to do more to bring about meaningful transformation. Each of us should take a hard look at our lives and ask very difficult questions that require honest answers. If I don’t think of myself as a racist, what can I do to become an anti-racist? If I haven’t spoken up in the past to fight racism, has my silence contributed to where we are today? What actionable steps can I take to help change our community?

Confronting racism in your everyday world may make you uncomfortable, but that’s exactly what is needed — a reckoning of roles we have all knowingly or unknowingly played. A focused, intentional effort to learn more about each other and more about ourselves. Progress happens when people who aren’t directly impacted by injustices call them out when they see them, every single day.

So ask yourself, what can I do at home, work, at school or at the voting booth to combat racism? It’s a fight we can win, if we all care enough to make that commitment.

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