Democracy Fund stands in solidarity with our grantees, partners, and those across the nation who are outraged and grieving over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other Black lives that have been lost or harmed by racism, white supremacy, and police brutality. That includes the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color.
At Democracy Fund, we believe that a healthy democracy requires that historically targeted communities have power and equal protection under the law. This means police brutality must end, and it means Black communities, social justice organizers, and allies across the country must be able to peaceably assemble to protest another attack on a Black man. These protests should be joined and amplified, not shut down nor met with police aggression. We have to center the experiences of Black people and other marginalized communities as we work to build a more equitable democracy. Many of us need to confront our own privilege to work in solidarity to actively dismantle racism.
Instead of helping us to forge a path forward, our nation’s leaders are threatening to deploy military force against fellow Americans, condoning attacks on journalists, and using social media to stoke division. This is a violation of the very principles of an open and just democracy, and further endangers our nation.
There is significant work to do to protect the lives of Black people to ensure they have power in our democracy. Philanthropy, including Democracy Fund, must do better at attacking the racism and injustice built into our society and institutions — including our own. We are committed to being a part of the solution.
Moving forward, we commit to four things:
- Providing more dollars with fewer barriers to support Black-led organizations fighting for social justice and anti-racist policies;
- Directing financial support to local newsrooms and Black reporters so that they can keep telling important stories, including those that shed light on injustice and racism;
- Using our influence with other philanthropic organizations to improve funding strategies — including our own — that eliminate barriers for Black-led and -supporting organizations to receive resources; and
- Working with foundations and donors across the country to find every resource possible to remove barriers and ensure that everyone is able to vote safely in November.
Black Lives Matter,