In the week since four police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, there has been a collective call not only for justice, but also for philanthropy to resource systemic change by supporting organizations that are taking real steps to end the undeniable racism and injustice baked into our society that defines Black lives as expendable.
As women’s funds, foundations, and gender justice funders we cannot erase the image of Mr. Floyd calling for his mother. We understand that the outcomes of state violence are woven deeply into Black women’s experience. There is no gender justice without racial justice.
Whether it’s migrant children in cages crying for their mothers, indigenous communities that suffer the highest rate of police violence nationally and systemic disregard for missing and murdered indigenous women, or the brutalizing effects of the criminal justice system on Black communities – women of color, especially Black women, not only suffer the loss of children to police violence, they are also the targets of that violence – including Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in her Louisville, Kentucky home back in March.
Our humanity is dying from racism.
For too long, Black people have been silenced and killed under the physical and mental violence of the carceral system — built by, and for, the preservation of a patriarchal, racist world view. Each of us must act now to demand an end to this chapter in our history.
We urge our colleagues in philanthropy to support organizations that are mobilizing to advance community-based solutions. Give generously to organizations on the frontline of change, including to your local women’s fund or foundation. Women’s funds are system change institutions that multiply every size gift 10x primarily by supporting women of color-led organizations that are mapping an inclusive economy built on racial and gender equity and justice.
The only way to end the cycle of government violence against Black people is to act every single day. Use your voice. Use your vote. Use your money. As women’s funds, foundations, and gender justice funders – we stand with Black communities in the affirmation of Black lives, and vow to work with all who envision a world free from the institutions and violence perpetrated by racism and patriarchy.
Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President & CEO, Women’s Funding Network
Lisa Attonito, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee
Melanie R. Bridgeforth, President & CEO, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
Ruby Bright, President, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
Lauren Casteel, President & CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Kimberly Crichton, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Fund
Tanna Clews, CEO, New Hampshire Women’s Foundation
Meghan Cummings, Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Felicia Davis, President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO, Texas Women’s Foundation
Tracy DeVries, Executive Director, The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi
Denise Raquel Dunning, Phd., Founder & Executive Director, Rise Up
Emily Evans, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Oregon
Sarah Ghiorse, Executive Director, New Mexico Women.org
Françoise Girard, President, International Women’s Health Coalition
Leela Bilmes Goldstein, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Hawaii
Anna Beth Gorman, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
Kelley Griesmer, President & CEO, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director, Women Moving Millions
Donna Haghighat, CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts
Terry Hernandez, Executive Director, Chrysalis Foundation
Robert Hughes, President and CEO, Missouri Foundation for Health
Julie Keller, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region
Antoinette Klatzky, Executive Director, Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute
Latanya Mapp Frett, CEO, Global Fund for Women
Joanne Murray, Executive Director, The Women’s Fund of Southern Mass.
Sharon LaRue, Executive Director, Kentucky Foundation for Women
Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President & CEO, Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Amalia Luxardo, CEO, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
Kelly Nevins, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
Dawn Oliver Wiand, Executive Director, Iowa Women’s Foundation
Ana Oliveira, President & CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation
Gloria Perez, President & CEO, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Suzanne Peters, Founder and CEO, Peters Associates
Paulette Senior, President & CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation
Sheri Scavone, Executive Director, Western New York Women’s Foundation
Meg Smith, Director, Vermont Women’s Fund
Tine Ward, Founder and CEO, Rockflower
Teresa C. Younger, President & CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women
Michelle Zych, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Omaha