We stand united with Black communities across America and stand against continued oppression of marginalized groups in our society. We are outraged over the violence brought against Black citizens and take a stand with you as allies in the fight to end racism and bias in America.
Over the past several days, the headlines and the scenes on the news are more heartbreaking every single day. So, we are not going to do business as usual today. We will not carry on like nothing is going on in the world or pretend that the heartache, anguish, and injustice that has plagued us as a nation since our inception hasn’t erupted into violence and unrest that is rippling across our communities. George Floyd’s murder is just the latest miscarriage of justice and was the spark that set this tinderbox of anxiety and fear and unrest ablaze.
Sadly, this is not new.
Racial tensions have been running extra hot under our current administration which continues to stoke the fires of white supremacy. Add in the weight and uncertainty of the coronavirus lockdown, the disproportionate impact that coronavirus has had on Black and Brown communities, skyrocketing unemployment and a wildly turbulent economy, and we were ripe for an eruption of this scale and magnitude.
Yet, despite the violence we are seeing and the anger we are feeling, I must hope that this time it will be different. That in this space of raw, bare humanity, we can and will see past our own internalized biases and that we will all feel the heartache and despair and anguish as our own. I have hope that we can see that our interconnectedness as a human race shines through and we will finally realize that we either rise or fall together.
It’s going to take a lot of grit, but it can be done.
It starts with facing the truth and openly discussing the issues. It is high time we all stopped pretending that things are fine. We must stop pretending that the status quo can carry on, that the racial and socioeconomic inequalities in this country are acceptable. We must stop pretending that each of us in a place of privilege (myself included) should just keep our heads down and stay quiet and in our place and that somehow, we will escape unnoticed and untouched. Those fantasies are built in the spaces of power of class or race or sex or sexual orientation; they need to be shaken, disrupted, and dismantled.
None of us are immune to the power structures in this country and, if we feel they are unjust, we must speak out and do everything we can to tear them apart and create a more just and equitable world. Each person, each voice, each movement that strives for justice counts.
So here at Firefly, we add our voices to the call that #BlackLivesMatter, that racial and socio-economic injustice will not stand, that we are here in solidarity and support to the movement. We will not be silent. We will not be complicit. We will not be divided. And we will not be deterred.
Here is what we are doing to take action. We ask that other leaders in our nonprofit space join us in doing the same:
- We are doubling down on our commitment to working within the progressive nonprofit community and supporting those working to create a more just and equitable world.
- We are donating to BlackLivesMatter.
- We are giving our staff a donation stipend to give to a cause fighting injustice in their local communities
- We are going to be a source of information, as best as we can, to educate our communities about injustice and ways in which they can get involved. In that spirit, we are going to dedicate our next several podcast episodes to sharing stories of people on the ground fighting against injustice.
- We are ensuring that our entire staff has the time they need to commit to their own mental health and well-being by taking mental health days off work.
- We are also ensuring our staff has space and time off they need to be involved with the organizations they feel passionate about.
We are hopeful and we also believe that if we come together we can effect change. It requires us to get honest, to talk about the hard things and put action plans in place. It requires us to pull nonprofits and nonprofit industry leaders together in this cause.
Please stand with us.