When a MOMENT becomes a MOVEMENT — Justice in June began with two friends, Bryanna Wallace and Autumn Gupta, having an open and honest conversation about the murder of George Floyd and the incidents of racial injustice that keep reoccurring with no consequence or retribution. Autumn, a person of color, but not a member of the Black community knew her friend Bryanna was in pain, and together, they decided to take action; Justice in June was born.
BUT WAIT, WHAT IS JUSTICE IN JUNE EXACTLY?
Justice in June is an online resource compiled to provide a starting place for people trying to become better active, anti-racist allies to the Black community. It started as a Google doc and is now a website with information organized by how much time you can dedicate to learning a day — 10 mins, 25 mins, or 45 mins.
The need for a doc like this featuring so much valuable information has hit home for many. Within days of being released, the doc received 190,000 views, over 1.7 million views on Twitter, and was highlighted in the Washington Post! Throughout time, Autumn and Bryanna have cultivated a community rooted in truth that inspires action and is committed to awareness.
We are proud that one half of Justice in June is a Deva team member, our Assistant Brand Marketing Manager, and woman extraordinaire, Bryanna Wallace! We asked Bryanna to share a bit of her journey with us, and she has kindly accepted.
Q: Many friends have conversations, but what within that two-and-a-half- hour call with Autumn pushed you both to take action and start Justice in June?
A: Autumn has always shown up as an ally and advocate in my life. We are both passionate people who care deeply about the issues close to our hearts. She consistently creates space for me to show up as my authentic self throughout our friendship, and that was a cornerstone of being able to lean into dynamic conversations whenever we felt the need. That moment in 2020 hit different because I had been so used to becoming desensitized, apathetic, or compartmentalizing emotions I felt when another atrocity or act of violence against the Black community occurred. The conversation that ensued after the murder of George Floyd was raw. It was transparent, unfiltered, and deeply emotional. In those moments, Autumn realized how radically her life would change if I had been the one whose life had been extinguished with no justice to be had.
As a woman of color, and an educated one at that, she reckoned with the fact that many of the resources and guides swirling around she didn’t completely recognize or have familiarity with. We both saw the paralysis and overwhelming landscape many of the aggregations, lists, and compilations had become, which spurred her to create a path to making a tangible learning plan. With my oversight, we crafted the month-long resource in an intentional and amplifying way.
Q: What is your dream goal with Justice in June?
A: The dream is that there doesn’t need to be a Justice in June in the first place. That the world can evolve in such a way where we honor every identity, lean into learning, and champion allyship in all aspects of our lives. But of course, as we look forward to that day, the goal is to continue to expand our reach, create additional learning plans, share space, amplify voices and bring light to each room we have the privilege to enter.
Q: What does being an active anti-racist ally mean to you?
A: Being an active anti-racist ally means showing up, advocating, and doing the very challenging work of reforming perspectives as new information is received. It is committing to a continued evolution — of thought, understanding, and being. Most importantly, it is prioritizing compassion and living a radically loving and inclusive life that creates the utmost safety no matter a person’s background, disposition, or circumstance.
Q: How do diversity, inclusion, and equity show up for Justice in June?
A: Diversity, inclusion, and equity show up in the spaces we enter, hold, and advocate for. It looks like leaning into dynamic conversations and creating an opportunity to hear and learn about different perspectives — even when it may challenge our own. Diversity means we consider varying schools of thought and philosophies, and inclusion is most reflected in how we invite all to join us in this journey of allyship.
Q: What’s next for Justice in June?
A: We are currently working towards becoming a non-profit! With the help of incredible volunteers, advisors, and advocates, we are very close to completing the process and steps closer to creating something that lives beyond us in the most impactful and intentional way. Our goal is to make people feel seen, whether that’s in how we create frameworks for understanding, recognizing, and acknowledging the very real challenges in this journey; or simply being a safe ear to listen and reflect. Our next is always looking to be a little bit better than we were yesterday and crafting a more impactful world for tomorrow.