Our hearts are broken. They break for George Floyd, and Dion Johnson, and Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black lives lost to police brutality and the oppressive racist systems that literally do not let certain people breathe. As advocates for equity, the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona stands in solidarity with Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and look to their leadership in building a society that works for everyone.
The reality is that this isn’t new, and that our systems are not “broken” – they are working exactly as they were designed, which is to protect some and disempower others. These systems have failed us and we must start over. Equity is the ONLY acceptable outcome.
Our mission at WFSA is centered around gender equity, which cannot be realized without racial equity. In commitment to our mission, and our commitment to participate in the movement to build an equitable society, we:
- acknowledge that our office was built on stolen O’odham and Hohokam land, in a country built on the backs of stolen people and rooted in white supremacy;
- remember that whiteness cannot be centered, and while white voices are essential in breaking down the systems, those voices should amplify and elevate BIPOC voices;
- stand behind the protesters, who are brave enough to venture out onto increasingly militarized streets during a pandemic in order to stand up for justice;
- value people over property, because buildings can be repaired, paint washed away, and windows replaced – but people cannot be brought back from the dead;
- recognize that the pain expressed in these last few days has been compounding over hundreds of years, and we know it is not our place to pass judgment on the ways in which that emotion is expressed.
Silence is complicity.
With that, it is important to note that words are nice but they are not enough. The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona is ready to participate when invited by our BIPOC leaders, both during this time and in the ongoing efforts to rebuild from a place of and for equality for all. We commit to use our voice to work with officials in redirecting funds to increase opportunity for BIPOC community members; use our vote to elect women and women of color to change the face of power; use our funds to support women of color-led organizations that are building an equitable economy.
Join us. Demand justice. Act now.