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Environmental wellness promotes physical and emotional safety in all of your surroundings. It includes taking necessary precautions to ensure that your property and loved ones are safe from harm.


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Safety &



Vigilante white supremacist violence is a very real threat this election season. This summer we saw white supremacists murder protesters at racial justice demonstrations and just recently white supremacist groups targeted elected officials for their political views. For our everyday lives this means an increased threat of daily harassment and violence to our persons and institutions.


  • Evaluate the security of your home and your ‘hood:

    • Scan your home security - does everything function (locks, alarms, etc)?

    • Scan your neighborhood - are there places that are particularly vulnerable (ex. a corner where the street light is out) that you might want to take out of your daily route?

  • Build a Phone Tree: Create list of people you call and who call you in the event of an emergency or information needs to be shared quickly.

  • Don't Go It Alone: unless you are certain about the security of your surroundings or it is unavoidable, don’t travel alone.

  • Don’t Engage: if someone threatens you verbally do your best to ignore and remove yourself to a safer location.

  • Learn self-defense:

    • This can include martial arts or other physical techniques to protect yourself from bodily attack.

    • A note on armed self-defense. There is a tradition of armed self-defense in Black communities as Ida B.Wells famously said: “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every Black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.” Personal safety is very personal and so everyone must make their own choices for themselves and in consultation with their households. This includes being educated on and in compliance with all current local laws and guidelines regarding firearms as well as training on their proper use and storage.

Reflection question

What and who do I need to feel safe in my surroundings?


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There were nationwide protests against police violence and for racial justice this summer. Despite the constitutionally protected right to assembly, protesters were met with tear gas, pepper balls and other forms of violence from law enforcement. In Portland, OR protestors were confronted by armed federal officers whose tactics included taking people off the streets in unmarked cars -- reminiscent of “secret police.” The justification for this use of force were claims that protestors were lawless and violent mobs despite the fact experts say only about 5% of over 10,000 demonstrations this summer had protestors engaging in violence.


  • Stay Informed - Find a trustworthy source of news and keep up to date on what’s going on in your area. Stay especially informed about protests in your area and how the local law enforcement is handling it.

  • Stay Connected - Confirm whereabouts with loved ones; activate your phone trees and networks. Confirm the names and numbers of people and organizations that you can call for others and can call on your behalf in the case of an arrest or detention.

  • Check Your Supplies - do you have enough food, toiletries, medical supplies, gas etc. in case of a government lock-down?

  • Don’t Attend a Protest or Demonstration Alone - Go with someone that has your emergency contacts in case you are injured or arrested and you can’t call family.

Reflection question

Do government actions against its citizens cause me to feel hopeless?