#BlackLivesMatter

 

There are no words for the rage and grief we feel that have not already been articulated by Black folks over and over again. Together we stand in solidarity with organizers, protesters, and activists leading the charge and fighting for George Floyd, for Tony McDade, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Breonna Taylor and many others. 

 

We have always believed in people power, through the voices and actions of the community monumental change has occurred. Through calls for justice from the righteous, we have seen perpetrators of violence and terror held to account. It is you, the change agents in our community that are bringing us hope right now. Be it by rallying on the frontlines alongside the community calling for the demilitarization to our policing system, donating to bail funds across the state and country to release our frontline arbiters of justice, working to demand justice and dignity for Black lives by shutting down the private prison industry that profits by criminalizing and arresting Black bodies, or crowd sourcing funds to support funeral costs incurred by the families of Tony McDade and George Floyd, who had their lives robbed at the hands of the police.

 

Thank you for the many mighty ways you hold the community in these moments of crisis, while helping to create a radically different world.

 

But let's not mix words, there is still yet so much work left to do. As we honor the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, our community must grapple with the violence brought onto Black lives at the hands of a violent and unforgiving criminal justice system. In communities across the nation we have seen rallying calls from protesters met with tear gas, bullets, and beatings. We have seen members of LGBTQ+ communities turn an eye to this abuse, remain silent in the face of oppression, or place greater value on the destruction of property over the desecration of human life. We have seen non-Black Latinx communities attempt to co-opt the movement for Black lives, erasing the work of Afro-Latinx leaders, and being complicit in the very system of anti-Blackness that poisons the work of building and fostering connection and unity. 

 

As white supremacy continues to reveal its insidious nature it is the members of this community that are the champions of hope standing up when faced with unspeakable strife. Our communities responds, our communities create, our communities demand, and our communities affirm that Black Lives Matter. Because, when we say that Black Lives Matter with the fullness of our chests we are saying that no Black life deserves to live in a world where injustice is given space to exist.

 

We must never forget that our transcestors and queer elders moved through the world and overcame adversity with a strength that now runs in our veins. The freedom to be, simply to exist in the world as a queer or trans person would not be possible without the leadership of Black Trans women who put their bodies on the line for us in the past and every day since. They molded us in their image, and we are stronger because of it. We know the great value and necessity of taking care of each other, because they are the original teachers. Because of them, we can be the healers, the bearers of justice, and the catalysts of change.

 

This moment is critical. As non-Black people, we must all be active and commit to the lifelong work of embodying the principles and practice of an anti-racist life. We must not be complicit in the violence that silences Black lives. We must show up with a posture of grace, courage of the spine, and a spirit of action. While this is just a start, we believe this resource is just one of many helpful tools that can serve as an entry point or a gentle reminder for each of us on this journey. Power concedes nothing without a fight and there is no winning without hope, imagination, creation, and community. 

 

To our Black families, neighbors, friends, and loved ones, we cannot even begin to fathom the grief, pain, and anger burning your hearts in this moment. This is nothing that we believe as non-Black people of color we can adequately say to quell these feelings that you are left holding. While this may only be the beginning of a long journey of healing from this hurt, this resource developed by Black thought leader and healer Michalah Webster can be helpful.

 

Today and every day we must continue to fight for justice, to bring forward change, to inspire peace. 

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