Right now, there is a pain deeply etched into the minds, hearts and souls of our communities and our country.
Even as the United States grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, another wave of death is sweeping the nation. There is fear, hurt, and outrage provoked by recent senseless killings of Black people by police such as that of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest despite cries that he could not breathe. Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old Black EMT in Louisville Kentucky was shot by police while asleep in her home and Tony McDade, a Black transgender man was beaten by a group one day and shot to death by police the next day in Tallahassee Florida. This on top of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25 year old Black man shot while jogging in his south Georgia neighborhood by two white men claiming to be making a “citizen’s arrest.”
These and other public events underscore a painful legacy of racism at the foundations of our country. Unfortunately that painful legacy is still present today — not only in the form of state sanctioned violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted inequities and discrimination. We see it in our criminal legal system, in the disproportionate toll of the covid 19 disease on Black and Brown communities, in the inequalities in every sector–business, non profit, health, housing and education.
Our mission at The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc. is to eradicate sexual violence by eradicating the oppressions that use it as a weapon. Survivors live at the crossroads of these oppressions every day. Right now, we see our part in the movement to end sexual violence as doubling down on ending sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia in order to end gender based violence.
As we begin gay pride month this June, we urge you to observe the activism we are seeing all around us and the fearless activists throughout our country’s history who did not sit idly by while human lives were taken and human dignity stolen. We honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson, the transgender woman who fought back at the Stonewall riots, helping to create the LGBTQ rights movement we recognize today and Larry Kramer, AIDS activist and founder of the militant group Act Up.
Thank you for being part of this community. There are many actions we can take right now. (resources included) Attend a protest, sign a petition, donate to a Black-led organization, have dialogues with family and friends, read and educate ourselves and one another. Whatever we do will make a difference.
Sexual Violence and Oppression: Framing Our Work Using the Sexual Violence Continuum
Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Donate to Organizations in Minneapolis
Black Owned Small Businesses in the Merrimack Valley
BIPOC-only Virtual Gathering
Anti Racism Resources for White People