Like you, all of us at Women’s Foundation California have been watching the response to the murder of Black Americans by police officers. Everyday our community is being traumatized by the systemic, institutional racism that has pervaded our country since it was founded. Our Black colleagues, neighbors, families, and friends live in fear every day that their name will be the next one that needs to be memorialized. That their child may be the next Black person murdered in the streets by police officers who took an oath to protect and serve them.
As a leader, I have a responsibility and a commitment to advance racial justice both at the Foundation and in our communities in ways that openly and loudly affirm that racism and white supremacy will not be tolerated. All of us at Women’s Foundation California vehemently oppose and condemn the actions of the police officers who murdered George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade along with the hundreds who were killed before them. Their lives were cut short by police brutality, and the lives of their surviving families and communities have been traumatized by a cycle of systemic and physical violence.
Silence is not an option. We need to hold space for the rage, grief, and anger that so many of us are feeling about the police brutality our Black friends and families have endured for generations. And we have to demand accountability. We all must do the work not just to speak out against racism but to be anti-racist. At Women’s Foundation California I can assure you that we remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing racism through an intersectional lens while holding a longer-term vision affirming and celebrating the human dignity of black and brown lives.
The status quo is bleak, but a better future is possible when we are grounded in our values of justice. We will continue to lead with compassion, kindness, and generosity and stand in solidarity with our grant partners and Women’s Policy Institute Network to work together for long-term recovery from the global pandemic and the resulting economic devastation, made worse by pre-existing conditions of weaponizing race, police militarization and white supremacy. We commit to continue working for the kinds of structural change that will meet the needs of all of our communities.