We have joined in solidarity with our Women’s Funding Network sisters on this Statement of Solidarity and Call for Liberation from State Violence
Today’s verdict may bring relief, but it does not bring justice. It does not bring back a father, a son, a man – George Floyd. The only justice is a whole life, liberated from the state systems in Minnesota, the U.S., and around the world, that empower police to mistreat, abuse, and murder Black, indigenous, immigrants, and people of color.
As we press forward, we recognize that in a culture that continually reinforces white supremacy, justice can only be achieved when we confront and repair the anti-Blackness that is woven through every aspect of society-in our homes, schools, workplaces, communities, places of worship, and government.
Philanthropy must trust those most impacted to lead the way. As we listen to communities most impacted, we must trust them when they share their truth. We recognize their leadership and vision and use our resources to invest in their solutions for whole-community safety and well-being. We must show up for one another and work in partnership, believing and building power with those who experience violence and harm at the hands of our systems. Their vision and experiences have shown us the way, and the work is on all of us to create change and to realize a new day for Minnesota.
As women’s funds, gender equity funders and allies, our vision of gender equity is indelibly bound to racial equity. The women’s movement can only be realized when we center the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and women of color who experience state-sanctioned violence directly. There can be no gender justice without racial justice.
Since the onset of the pandemic and the global uprising for racial justice that began in Minnesota after the murder of George Floyd, we talked to Black mothers and caregivers, Native women, and women of color through our Listening Sessions. The community shared their experience of two Minnesotas – two systems of justice, policing, education, housing, and healthcare, of safety, dignity, life, and death. The injustices they face in our state are matters of life and death.
To transform, we cannot stop listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of communities pushed to the margins. We must transform our attitudes, our systems, our practices, and our institutions. We can and must rise to meet this moment. This is our rallying cry to continue the fight for justice and equity.
In this moment, with this verdict, we have courage. We must keep this courage in the face of all that lies ahead – and we need your courage to join us in powering a movement for change so that all women, girls, their families, and communities may thrive.
With courage for our way forward,
Gloria Perez, President and CEO, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM)
Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President and CEO, Women’s Funding Network (WFN)
Jane Sloane, Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality
Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women
Tine Ward, Founder and CEO, Rockflower Partners Inc.
Marya Meyer, Interim Executive Director, Women’s Fund Miami
Meg Smith, Director, Vermont Women’s Fund
Nicole Baran, Executive Director, The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation
Joanne Murray, Executive Director, Women’s Fund SouthCoast, Massachusetts
Trish Tierney, Co-founder + CEO, WAKE
Dr. Amalia Luxardo, CEO, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
Lauren Casteel, President & CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Felicia Davis, President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
Brandy Loveland, WEMH Achievement Coach, WNY Women’s Foundation
Karen Sterk, CEO, Jeannette Rankin Foundation
Leela Bilmes Goldstein, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO, Texas Women’s Foundation
Melanie R. Brown, Vice-Chair, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors
Elba Montalvo, Co-Founder, Puerto Rican Women’s Foundation
Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors
Julia Gray, Mediator & Attorney; Board President, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis
Keri Koehler, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis
Jessica Neuwirth, Donor Direct Action
Emily Weltman, Collective Flow Consulting
Tanna Clews, CEO, New Hampshire Women’s Foundation
Kate Kroeger, Urgent Action Fund
Junemarie Justus, Founder, The Acorn Project, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors
Julienne Lusenge, Executive Director, Fund for Congolese Women
Sarah Vaill, Director of Philanthropy, The XX Fund at Liberty Hill Foundation
Natanja Oquendo, Executive Director, Boston Women’s Foundation
Donna kHaghighat, CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts
Jess Tomlin, Co-CEO, Equality Fund
Amina Dickerson, Dickerson Global Advisors
Erika Burnett, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga
Jennifer Steadman, Executive Director, Aurora Women and Girls Foundation
Kelly Nevins, CEO, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
Julie Keller, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region
Sharon LaRue, Executive Director, Kentucky Foundation for Women
Sheri Scavone, WNY Women’s Foundation
Michelle Legaspi Sanchez, The Fund for Women and Girls
Kelley Griesmer, President and CEO, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
Kimberly Crichton, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Fund
Lori Adelman, Global Fund for Women
Shante Avant, Vice President, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
Tracy DeVries, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Mississippi
Maria Cavalcanti, President and CEO, Pro Mujer, Inc.
Louise Davis, PRBB Foundation
Meghan Cummins, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Erin McArthur, Women’s Fund of Omaha
Sarah Ghiorse, Executive Director, NewMexicoWomen.Org
For a complete, up-to-date list of all signers, or to sign on as a Women’s Fund, visit the statement on the Women’s Funding Network site.