Statement of Solidarity on Racial Justice
There is no gender justice without racial justice.
The last few months under the crushing impact of a global pandemic and the last several weeks with the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have unveiled for some, reinforced for others, and punctuated for all the deep history and irreconciliation of our country’s original sin – racism.
Like you, we and each member of our Board of Directors and staff are saddened, angered, and grieving these senseless and yet painfully predictable outcomes caused by entrenched racism.
We hope you were able to read our joint statement last week with sister foundations across the country. If not, you can read it here.
As we all watched yet another chapter of our country’s rich history of civil protest unfold, we are compelled to speak out as this is no time for silence or inaction.
The structures of racism and sexism have persisted in this country since its inception, but the efforts to combat each have remained separate for too long. As a public women’s foundation, we have a fundamental understanding that achieving gender equity requires the dismantling of all systems of oppression forcing us to double down on our commitment to boldly naming and combating racism with an intersectional lens.
And together we can.
Upon my appointment as CEO and amid mapping out a bold vision for The Women’s Fund, together we centered equity, leading to a shift in our investment strategy to include statewide advocacy and community engagement; tackling systems change head-on with the launch of our inaugural public policy agenda; and embracing our own leadership voice to influence decision making and shape a new narrative.
Through it all you never wavered.
As we continue our evolution as a philanthropic actor committed to ending gender and racial injustice, we ask that you stand with us. No matter how sincere or bold our vision in combatting the evil of racism, we cannot do it without authentic fellowship with you and our community.
We can affirmatively state that we do not have all the answers, but we are dedicated to learning, listening, and adjusting as we play our role in promoting gender and racial justice.
Melanie R. Bridgeforth
President & CEO
Tracey Morant Adams
Chair, Board of Directors
On behalf of the entire family of The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham