Black Lives Matter, Today and Always: January 15 Highway Action Solidarity Statement

BLM

by Mia McKenzie

January 16, 2015

BlackGirlDangerous.org

On January 15, 2015, A non-Black group of Pan-Asians, Latinos, and white people, some of whom are queer and transgender, linked their bodies together across the I- 93 highway in a highly coordinated action in Boston. This act of civic participation was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Black people. Here is the solidarity statement:

Police in Ferguson are not bad apples — the whole system, Boston included, is rotten to the core. In the past 15 years, law enforcement officers of Boston Police, the nation’s first police department, killed Remis M. Andrews, Darryl Dookhran, Denis Reynoso, Roos Baptista, Burrell “Bo” Ramsey-White, Mark Joseph McMullen, Manuel “Junior” DaVeiga, Marquis Barker, Stanley Seney, Luis Gonzalez, Bert W. Bowen, Eveline Barros-Cepeda, Daniel Furtado, LaVeta Jackson, Nelson Santiago, Willie L. Murray Jr., Rene Romain, Jose Pineda, Ricky Bodden, Carlos M. Garcia, and many more people of color. We mourn and honor all these lives. We must remember: Ferguson is not a faraway Southern City. Black men, women, and gender nonconforming people; undocumented immigrants; people categorized as Muslim; and queer and transgender people face disproportionately higher risk of profiling, unjust incarceration, and death. Police violence is everywhere in the United States.

Let us also remember: The liberation of Black people is not an abstract, unattainable ideal. Black lives matter today and always– it’s a fact.

Today, January 15, 2015, we, a non-Black group, stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement and Black people everywhere. Our non-Black solidarity group of Pan-Asians, Latinos, and white people, some of whom are queer and transgender, uplifts Black voices, as expressed at fergusonaction.com/demands.

We hold ourselves accountable, as non-Black people, to turn up and disrupt business as usual. Today, our nonviolent direct action is a manifestation of our long-term commitment to confronting our nation’s racist power structure as part of achieving the liberation of all oppressed people, always by uplifting and centering Black liberation. We expose the reality that Boston is a city where white commuters and students use the city and leave, while Black and Brown communities are targeted by police, exploited, and displaced.

As non-Black Latinos and Pan-Asian people in the United States, we refuse to perpetuate anti-Black racism. We will no longer allow our communities to serve as a wedge to divide us and jeopardize our struggle to end racism and achieve our collective liberation.

As non-Black undocumented immigrants in the United States, we refuse to perpetuate the erroneous idea of earned citizenship. We honor the path set before us by Harriet Tubman by advancing the civil and human rights of everyone regardless of citizenship status.

As non-Black women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people in the United States, we refuse to allow our commitment to gender justice to distract us from racial justice. We understand that gender and racial justice are intertwined.

As non-Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people in the United States, we refuse to allow our increasing acceptance of our sexuality and several marriage equality victories to end our commitment to social justice. This movement has been spearheaded by the leadership of Black queer women and gender non-conforming people, as is today’s Black Lives Matter movement.

As white people in the United States, we refuse to align ourselves with a state that carries out violence against Black people. We are taking nonviolent direct action to challenge white complicity and amplify the demands for an end to the war on Black people.

Today, we put our individual and collective voices together to resist and disrupt business as usual, the way we have been used to maintain a system that oppresses Black people. Moreover, as non-Black people, we understand and accept our duty to end the profiling, unjust incarceration, and killings of Black people in the United States and beyond. Black lives matter, today and always.

 

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October 24, 2019

Reflections from Philanthropy Forward's First Cohort

Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change is a CEO fellowship program created by Neighborhood Funders Group and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. The program's first cohort started in October 2018 in furtherance of building and advancing a shared vision for the future of philanthropy.

Hear perspectives from members of the first cohort as they reflect in this video on their work together as strategic thought partners, addressing philanthropy's most challenging issues and aligning to build a financial engine for social change.

2018 - 2019 Philanthropy Forward Cohort

A grid with individual photos of each of the 20 members of Philanthropy Forward's 2018-2918 cohort..

Click here for participant bios

  • Dimple Abichandani, General Service Foundation
  • Sharon Alpert, Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, Solidago Foundation
  • Ned Calonge, The Colorado Trust
  • Irene Cooper-Basch, Victoria Foundation
  • Farhad A. Ebrahimi, The Chorus Foundation
  • Nicky Goren, Meyer Foundation
  • Justin Maxson, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
  • Joan Minieri, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
  • Maria Mottola, New York Foundation
  • Mike Pratt, Scherman Foundation
  • Jocelyn Sargent, Hyams Foundation
  • Pamela Shifman, NoVo Foundation
  • Starsky D. Wilson, Deaconess Foundation
  • Steve Patrick, Aspen Institute Forum for Community solutions
  • Dennis Quirin, Raikes Foundation
September 10, 2019

For Love of Humankind: A Call to Action for Southern Philanthropy

Justin Maxson, Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, calls on fellow funding organizations based in the South to respond to the federal government's anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies with three concrete actions. This post was originally published here on the foundation's website.

Justin was part of the first Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship cohort, a joint initiative of Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, which strives to help people and places move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice, is a member of NFG.


 

Justin MaxsonWe are issuing a clarion call to Southern philanthropic organizations to respond to the manic drumbeat of anti-immigrant rhetoric and cruelty coming from the White House. This month began with a mass shooting targeting the Latinx community. Days later, massive raids tore apart hundreds of families and destabilized Mississippi communities but levied no consequences for the corporate leadership that lures vulnerable people to work in grueling, dangerous conditions. It is astounding that since those events, with the resulting fear and trauma still reverberating through immigrant communities across America, the administration has: 

  • repeated its intention to end birthright citizenship, a 14th Amendment guarantee that babies born on American soil are citizens. 
  • attempted to terminate the Flores Agreement, which sets standards for the care of children in custody. This would allow the administration to detain migrant families indefinitely in facilities where children are dying of influenza, yet flu shots are not administrated, where children are sexually assaulted, where soap, toothbrushes, human contact and play are not standard, and where breastfeeding babies are taken from their mothers. Child separation is known to cause permanent psychological trauma and brain damage.
  • announced changes to the so-called “public charge rule” to make it harder for legal immigrants to secure citizenship if they use public assistance. As our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argue, this change would cause many to “forgo assistance altogether, resulting in more economic insecurity and hardship, with long-term negative consequences, particularly for children.” Further, the decision “rests on the erroneous assumption that immigrants currently of modest means are harmful to our nation and our economy, devaluing their work and contributions and discounting the upward mobility immigrant families demonstrate.”

There was also a recent effort to effectively end asylum altogether at the southern border. And despite the Supreme Court ruling blocking the citizenship question from the 2020 census, advocates believe the debate will depress response rates. As we wrote earlier this month, this administration’s animus against immigrants and increasingly aggressive ICE actions are compounding the devastating effects on communities across the country. 

Why Southern philanthropy? 

An analysis of recent grantmaking by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy found our region has deportation rates five times higher than the rest of the country, yet Southern pro-immigrant organizations receive paltry philanthropic funding. Barely one percent of all money granted by the 1,000 largest foundations benefits immigrants and refugees, and even that money doesn’t go to state and local groups that are accountable to grassroots and immigrant communities. Organizations in Southern states receive less than half of the state and local funding of California, New York and Illinois. 

Where to begin? 

Speak up. As Desmund Tutu taught us, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Use your institutional voice to influence decisionmakers.

Examine your foundation’s policies. Find out if your endowment is invested in private detention centers. Consider how supporting organizing, power building and policy advocacy could advance your mission. NCRP has more recommendations in its report.

Give generously. Our partners at Hispanics in Philanthropy have curated a list of organizations helping the families affected by the raids across Mississippi. Our partners at Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees have compiled a list of ways to help, from rapid response grants to long-term strategies. 

Many of the Babcock Foundation’s grantee partners are doing more and more immediate protection work, stretching themselves thin and often putting themselves at risk. They are keeping families intact in the short term while building power for the long term, so history will stop repeating: 

If you know of more resources, please share them. If you’d like to learn more about the organizations on the ground across the South – or think about ways we can do more together – contact us. We are always looking to learn and act in alignment with our fellow funders toward a shared vision of a strong, safe, welcoming and equitable region. 

Activist Jane Addams said, “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us.” Regardless of a foundation’s mission, abject cruelty surely undermines it. It also undermines the most basic tenet of philanthropy, which literally means “love for humankind.” We see no love in this administration. It’s up to all of us to spread it.