Statement on Continued Police Brutality & Racial Bias Incidents
This is a follow-up statement to our May 29 social media communication.
As anti-Black violence and civil/human rights violations continue in our streets, the need to dismantle systemic racism could not be more urgent and clear.
It is the profound obligation of every one of us, especially those in positions of privilege and power, to fight this injustice. We cannot tolerate the murder or dangerous false accusations of Black people.
YWCANNJ is committed to ending racism, and we will continue to fight until institutions are transformed and the world sees Black people and all people of color as equals.
While we continue to mourn with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, we must all take action.
In the coming weeks, YWCANNJ will host a series of live YWTV programs on mothering Black sons, using art to fight racism, white allyship, raising anti-racist children, and more. We will also hold a virtual town hall where community leaders and activists will share insights on systemic racism, power structures that support it, white privilege, and how we can break the cycle.
YWCANNJ’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and support survivors. Racial justice is our daily work, and we will continue to keep this essential conversation open and active along with our ongoing racial justice initiatives like Stand Against Racism, Courageous Conversations, and our 100-member Racial Justice Task Force. In June 2019, we provided Undoing Racism training for community leaders under a grant from Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and our goal is to expand this effort. YWCANNJ is committed to the economic growth of Black-owned businesses through the Bergen County Black Business Network, a program under our organizational umbrella, as well as other Black-owned business in the communities we serve.
Please join us in supporting our work and consider taking these important actions:
1) Educate yourself.
If you are white, educate yourself about systemic racism and white privilege, teach your children, and become an ally. Read:
For Our White Friends Desiring to Become Allies by Courtney Ariel
How You Can Be an Ally in the Fight for Racial Justice by Deray Mckesson
2) Tell Congress to pass meaningful police reform legislation.
Pervasive lack of accountability by police departments persists in far too many agencies and destroys police legitimacy. Urge your members of Congress to adopt these –
3) Give your time and resources.
Get involved with grassroots campaigns, and support nonprofits like YWCANNJ working toward racial justice.
4) Support Black-owned businesses and business owners.
Working to build stronger and fairer economic communities and closing the racial wealth gap starts with supporting business opportunities for people of color. Learn from Black business owners and community leaders how we can stand together to help black businesses grow and succeed.
5) Complete the 2020 Census.
We need everyone in our communities to be counted. Fair political representation and vital funding are at stake.
Support the candidates who put the voices, priorities, and equality of Black people, people of color, and women at the forefront in 2020.
Help YWCANNJ continue the fight for racial justice and create opportunities for our communities. Only through our collective action and commitment can we achieve equality and justice for all.
Helen Archontou, MSW, LSW
CEO, YWCA Northern New Jersey