Starting the Conversation
Why this work matters
Violence has long been a fundamental part of the American experience for communities of color and immigrants, but the visibility and frequency has jumped dramatically since this president took office in 2016. And now, with this past weekend’s historic level of violence and the mass ICE raids we, like so many others, are fearing for the future of our country.
As a multiracial organization, we are building a future where the next generation of leaders are empowered, supported and safe. This future has never been under such an extreme attack. If ever there was a time to get involved, support each other and condemn white supremacy, it is now.
Domestic terrorism attacks motivated by white supremacy are at an all time high and the current administration has created a national platform built on racism and fear. But the future and safety of our communities are worth fighting for and we know the future we seek can only be built if we mobilize and empower each other to be the very change we seek.
We cannot hold our breath anymore waiting for the day lawmakers feel comfortable enough to move forward with policy. Instead, we need to double down on words of wisdom from the great leaders of the movement, and take it to heart.
Mothers of the movement like Audre Lorde, bell hooks and Toni Morrison are black women who put their blood, sweat and tears into the work to find freedom and empower others to follow. Their words call us all to continue that legacy.
- “Love is profoundly political. Our deepest revolution will come when we understand this truth.” — bell hooks
- “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” — Audre Lorde
- “Somebody has to take responsibility for being a leader.” — Toni Morrison
In this moment we all have a choice; to love, to act, and to lead, wherever we are. For CFJ, we choose to move forward in relationship building and to show radical love for our communities of color. For our Black, Brown, Indigenous and immigrant communities, this looks like checking in on each other. Calling your elders, speaking with young people and doing all you can to show that fear is not what defines us. We all have fear in our hearts, but we can’t let it eclipse the love we have for each other.
Our communities are powerful and beautiful beyond measure. We will not disappear and we will not hide. By stepping into our power, we prove everyday that our communities have a strength these white supremacists will never know. This is how we will triumph over hatred and violence.
To those who seek to move beyond mere allyship and become accomplices, know too that you also have a major role to play in bringing real change. Don’t underestimate your power and influence! We need you to stand with us and call out white supremacy where it lives: change the conversations that are happening at your dinner tables, in your board rooms, and on your social platforms.
Above are a few conversation prompts and resources for those looking to lead together. Please share them within your circles of influence and shift the conversation towards building a future where all of our communities are safe, supported, and empowered.