As all eyes watched the Derek Chauvin trial surrounding the brutal murder of George Floyd, police across America continued to murder Black people. And although the world let out a sigh of relief when Derek Chauvin was pronounced guilty for murdering Mr. Floyd, the systemic racism and violence against Black people at the hands of police persists.
While we celebrate the justice system finally holding one police officer accountable for the brutal murder of another human being, we mourn the deaths of many more Black and brown people who have not and may not get this justice.
According to the New York Times, since testimony began on March 29th, 2021 for the Chauvin trial, law enforcement killed an average of three people a day, with more than half of these deaths being Black and Latinx people. These murders include Black youth such as Adam Toledo (13 years old) in Chicago and Ma’Khia Bryant (16 years old) in Columbus, who were both fatally shot by police. These are not the first or only Black youth murdered at the hands of the same law enforcement that claims to protect these communities.
Standing in solidarity is not enough today. We must heed the call to action from our Black and brown brothers, sisters, and fellow humans as the communities impacted the most by police violence, and hold the system and ourselves accountable to the continual injustice BIPOC communities face every waking moment in this country.
As we continue to learn and grow, Alliance for Girls* (AFG) wants to center our Black and brown-led member organizations and partners, such as Black Girls Brilliance, Betti Ono, BlackFemaleProject, Girls For A Change, MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth), SheLectricity, AAFE (African American Female Excellence), Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and many more (see below), who actively and explicitly create safe spaces for Black and brown girls and gender-expansive youth to exist without fear of discrimination, violence, or hate.
Over the past year, AFG has participated in various advocacy strategies to push the Oakland City Council to defund Oakland police and reinvest in gender-based violence prevention and community safety that centers communities of color as the experts and drivers of solutions. This work cannot happen without recognizing the historical and persistent violence perpetrated by law enforcement, other government institutions, and their policies and laws that make it almost impossible for communities of color, especially Black people, to get justice. AFG is continuing to grow our knowledge of this history and support Black communities’ and youth’s solutions to dismantling white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence, while also creating spaces for mourning and healing.
It’s time to take the first step. AFG calls on our network to:
- Join AFG’s upcoming actions:
- Monday, May 3rd: Join the Oakland City Council Meeting to support our recommendations for Oakland to reinvest in gender-based violence prevention. Contact Haleema Bharoocha at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Friday, May 14th: Join us and our members and partners Betti Ono, Black Girls Brilliance, The Unity Council, and BART at the Together We Ride Watch Party and youth panel as we close out the #NotOneMoreGirl campaign and celebrate girls and gender-expansive youth and their visions of radical safety.
- For non-Black and brown members of our network, explicitly invest and support Black-led organizations in your communities and across the United States, who consistently put their lives on the line to support and grow Black girls, gender-expansive youth, and communities in the face of consistent violence and oppression.
- Operationalize policies that support workplaces of healing, rest, and anti-racism. For example, AFG has established a half-day Friday schedule and a wellness reimbursement program as part of our health policy; and invested in consistent anti-racist training including the Voices Rise: Black Women in Leadership program, the White Executive Directors Anti-Racism Learning Circle, and monthly staff discussions to foster a culture of learning and healing.
- Advocate for a reallocation of funds from police to community needs. Follow the lead of organizations like Anti Police-Terror Project leading the charge to defund and abolish police. As we approach local budget cycles, call into local meetings and urge your elected officials to invest in community, in violence prevention, in our youth, in safety, and in our wellbeing.
And as we continue to listen, learn, and strategize with BIPOC girls and communities, we encourage our non-Black and brown members, partners, and funders to commit to do the same.
Below is a list of resources (a mixture of healing resources, information, and actions) that may be helpful to our members and partners as we work to better support our Black family, along with resources centering Black healing:
- YWCA Berkeley/Oakland’s 7th Annual Stand Against Racism event, “From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis”. Final bonus event, Reimagining Through Rematriation, is on Friday, May 7th, at 11am.
- Justice in June, daily 15-45 minute activities to educate yourself on practicing allyship with the Black community
- Rest for Resistance – A website that uplifts marginalized communities through writing and art, edited by a team of trans people of color
- The Nap Ministry – A blog that explores the science of sleep and Black liberation theology.
- Blackline – A 24/7 national crises support hotline (with text option) to provide a space for peer support, counseling, witnessing, and affirming the lived experiences for folks who are most impacted by systemic oppression (with a BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Black Femme Lens)
- Therapy for Black Girls – A database to find a culturally competent and trusted therapist that understands the experience of navigating the world as a Black woman.
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Loveland Therapy Fund
- BEAM Wellness Resources – Journal prompts
- “Where Safety Lies” : Spoken Word Poem by Eden Meseret (winner of Betti Ono/Alliance for Girls Radical Visions of Safety Call for Art)
- Affirmations for Girls
- Healing Meditation by Shine
- Law Enforcement Violence Against Women of Color & Trans People of Color: A Critical Intersection of Gender Violence & State Violence
- Oakland is Reimagining Public Safety
- Black History Month Library (folder of articles by or on Black authors and activisits)
- Anti-Racism Resource Guide
- Anti Police-Terror Project’s First Responders Training Guide
- Survived & Punished’s organizing resources
- INCITE!’s Law Enforcement Violence Toolkit and Community Accountability Toolkit
- AB 931, the Police Accountability and Community Protection Act Fact Sheet
- Oakland Police Reform
- MH First
In community and action,
Alliance for Girls
*”Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).