By Lateefah Simon, President and Quinn Delaney, Board Chair | January 8, 2021
|The attack on the U.S. Capitol this week shocked our country and the world, but those who live under the daily threat of racism recognized the insurrection for what it was — the last gasps of white supremacy desperate to cling to power.
The white nationalists who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop democracy were hoping to silence the voices of millions who are clear that America is ready for a new day. But they failed. The truth is we are winning. Our nation is on the precipice of change. In Georgia, Arizona, California and around the country, we are witnessing the power of Black, Indigenous, and people of color leaders who are unrelenting, strategic and committed in their march toward our collective freedom and liberation. We see Georgia and the South’s first Black Democratic senator because of the brilliance, leadership and tenacity of Black women organizing and mobilizing. We are inspired by the beautiful organizers in cities across the country that are winning battles to end the criminalization of people of color, and ushering in new ways for safety and healing. We are deeply encouraged by the leaders who moved millions to the polls despite concerted efforts to suppress our votes.
While unprecedented, the actions of the racists who desecrated the nation’s Capitol are not new, nor are they isolated. The violent and hateful roots of white supremacy manifest deeply throughout our nation, local politics and within our public institutions. We see it in the two systems of justice that were laid bare for all to see this week; the federal government’s response to the Capitol insurgents is in stark contrast to their violent and repressive response to the racial justice protests that moved the nation last year. It is further evident in the continued disparities we see in over-policed and criminalized communities, in education and health systems, and so much more. While we have made progress, we know our work is not done.
We must take bold action to eradicate white supremacy and make this country a true democracy with liberty and justice for all. To realize the change we want to see, we will continue to lean on the wisdom and guidance of community and movement leaders. We will follow their lead as they march us all forward toward a more just nation, a more perfect union.
In solidarity and struggle,
Lateefah Simon, President
Quinn Delaney, Board Chair
Akonadi Foundation signed on to the following statement alongside more than 50 other funders to repudiate the violence that took place in Washington, DC this week. These events are an assault on our democratic values and institutions. They represent the ever-present racial injustice that remains part of life in America. Akonadi Foundation is committed to dismantling the unjust systems that these actions reflect and supporting the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism.
Read the full statement and see the list of signatories here.