Generation Citizen strongly condemns the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others before them. We stand in solidarity with the protesters and strongly support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We demand an end to the structures that systematically threaten Black lives.
While many are feeling anxiety, anger, and grief right now, the Black members of our direct and wider GC community bear the brunt of the weight of these moments. Those of us who are not Black must therefore do more: we must work to uncover and address the ways in which white supremacy and privilege pervade our organization, our community, the philanthropic sector, and our society at large.
These painful events, and the young voices responding to it, remind us that we need to do better. We need to make changes in order to move forward in an anti-racist way — by actively working to combat the racism we see in our systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes. Power must be redistributed, and shared equitably. The program and policy work we engage in — in every classroom and community — must be facilitated with full recognition of the deep and structural inequities in which the focus issues selected by our students, like police brutality, are rooted. We also must examine how those injustices show up in our work, in our everyday routines, and in ourselves.
The work of building a truly just, representative, and responsive democracy starts with acknowledging that racism has always been part of this country’s history and democracy, and that we all, irrespective of our lot in life, have an obligation to fight that racism and laws that guard inequity. This is not as a matter of virtue-signaling, but in recognition that everyone benefits from a society where the policy legacies of racism are both undone and unlearned.
We also recognize the need to do much more than make statements — we need to take action. Our GC team will be taking a Day of Action on Thursday, June 4 in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. We will be stepping away from the status quo in recognition that every person in our organization is on their own personal journey and we want to create space for each of us to take action in whatever ways needed. We also will be listening to our young people, and their thoughts on this movement, at our National Community Summit next Thursday. We invite you to listen to them as well.
Please click here to read about the additional specific action steps we’re taking as an organization and the resources we’ve found helpful as we work to to become better informed so we can act in meaningful, effective ways.
Finally, if you or someone you know needs to speak to a professional about the impact of this trauma, know that there are resources. Call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at: 800-950-NAMI or in a crisis text “NAMI” to 741741.