Over the last few weeks, as happens far too often, African-Americans have been subjected to violence and the threat of violence. Acts like these are completely unacceptable at any time and in any place, but the recent concentration of cases and the outpouring of feeling from our members requires a direct response – one we acknowledge should have come sooner.
This must be stated unequivocally: Black Lives Matter. NEW abhors violence against people of color. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all those who have been senselessly killed. We stand in solidarity with black Americans who have been disrespected, attacked, and mistreated. NEW’s mission to Advance All Women makes us sensitive to any circumstance where a person is treated with anything less than the dignity and respect they deserve – for their personhood, and for their life. We encourage our members to state the same, publicly, and take action in solidarity with black Americans in any way they can.
As one of our most respected partners and supporters, Tara Jaye Frank, has stated, those individuals who are doing something to support black Americans are making real change, even if it may feel small at the time. “You are posting your dismay on your own pages,” she says, “being specific about where you stand on issues of injustice. You are calling and texting your Black friends to check on us. You are consciously teaching your white children about race and racism and encouraging respect for all humanity. You are donating to causes that fight for racial justice. You are incorporating your heightened understanding into your work, helping to create more equitable spaces and opportunity. You are reaching out to your elected officials. You are challenging your own families and friends who hold racist views, in private and in public.”
We can, and should, take time to grieve the tragedies that have unfolded in recent weeks. Then, we must take action for positive change.
-The NEW team