This week, we witnessed extraordinary acts that demonstrate both the power and the fragility of democracy in this country. On the same day of a historic Senate runoff in Georgia, a victory for Black and brown women and the coalitions that they’ve built in their years-long organizing efforts in increasing voter turnout, we also experienced a violent attempt to disrupt democracy by white supremacists. These two moments in history remind us, in vivid strength, that our actions, both individually and collectively, truly matter.
The violent act of white supremacy that we witnessed in Washington DC was a brutal attempt to subvert and dismantle democratic processes for all. The failed coup against our country is a result of a presidency that has incited hatred and fear while simultaneously trying to erode our system of democracy. In the aftermath of an election driven by the strength and leadership of Black and brown women and the coalitions they built, we see this violence as a direct expression of intolerance, white supremacy, and patriarchal ideologies, adding to our painful history of violent attempts to disenfranchise Black and brown communities.
The events that transpired on Wednesday make it clear that we must continue our work to break down barriers of systemic inequality that silence Black and brown communities, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and other people kept at the margins of democracy and inclusive government.
Rooted in our philanthropic practices and values of community leadership, inclusion and participatory grantmaking, The New York Women’s Foundation denounces these acts and encourages each one of us to respond and resist all persisting ideologies of racism, patriarchy and injustice that encouraged such violence to take place.
While philanthropy alone cannot fix the inequities that persist in our government, we have and we will continue to step in to support community leaders and movements that fight for gender, racial and economic justice, for healing and anti violence, for civic engagement and for democratic practices and self-determination. We are fueled in our determination and resolve to continue our work and invest in the leadership of our grantee partners and their bold solutions that protect women and our families from the harm we have just witnessed.
With a new incoming administration, the time is now to call for competent and effective leadership to address the continuing over-policing and brutality towards Black communities and rectify the unprepared response to the violence in the Capitol. The time is now to prioritize policies that support an inclusive democracy, economy and thriving communities. The time is now to prioritize the lives of underinvested communities and ensure that their voices are heard.
There is no better time than now to extend compassion, grace and care to yourself and those around you, to express your values and voices of justice and to stand together. Our work together has and will continue to transform our world into one that is equitable and just for all.
President & CEO