Center Statement in Support of Justice and Black Lives
June 3, 2020
Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter.
As an organization rooted in social justice and activism, we stand unequivocally with the Black Lives Matter movement for justice and support the activism and voices of Black people, including those at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. Silence and neutrality are tools of oppression, and we will not use either.
The Center is committed to ensuring that our values are actively anti-racist and deeply intersectional. We feel the pain and anger provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Monika Diamond—and so many others, and we vocally and forcefully condemn these acts of police brutality and the systemic racism that supports them.
We call for an end to the pervasive and systemic racism ingrained in our society, and are committed to the long-term work required to make that happen. To that end, we joined over 300 LGBTQ organizations uniting against racial violence. Since 2019, we have also been working with racial equity teams to build a stronger foundation, competency and organizational focus in equity and inclusion frameworks, as well as practices and policies that address the implicit and explicit ways in which racism impacts individuals, organizations and communities.
We stand firmly with the advocates in New York and in cities and states across the country to demand justice. We have a responsibility, to ourselves and to each other, to engage in actions that dismantle white supremacy, and we will continue these actions. We condemn the violent acts committed by members of the New York City Police Department against protestors this weekend and are deeply disappointed in our Mayor’s decision not to fully condemn those acts of violence. We are calling on our leadership in government to end the recently imposed curfew, and condemn the racist rhetoric and encouragement of violence being spewed from the White House. When Black people demand an end to murder at the hands of police, the answer is not increased police presence.
We also acknowledge that this happens against a backdrop of a global pandemic that is disproportionately causing Black communities to lose their jobs and their lives. COVID-19 has only magnified the systemic inequalities that Black people experience, who also make up the largest number of people dying, becoming ill and being hospitalized from COVID-19. This blatant discrimination and the impacts of systemic racism are unacceptable and avoidable, but in order to realize a better, more affirming future, we must tackle these disparities at their roots.
At a time when our collective pain threatens once again to embroil us in despair, we also want to offer a message of hope. Alongside the pain, we know that we have power. We are committed to putting our power behind this movement and we ask you to join us in one of the most impactful ways you can: vote, and help get out the vote. We choose who represents us, and who is elected to change the systems that don’t work for us at the federal, state and local levels. We also encourage white allies to join us and learn to undo racism and systems of oppression, to create a more just world for everyone. We urge you to take the time to learn about the incredible organizations working to dismantle systems of oppression and uplift Black communities, and support these fierce champions financially by making a donation if you are able.
We have also been reflecting on the toll the last week has taken on our community and our staff, particularly on our Black colleagues. Anti-black racism is on full display, and the impact that has on us all is profound. Given that, The Center will be closed this Friday, June 5 to give our staff time to rest mentally and physically, to continue to process the current space and to support the anti-racist movement.
Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter. We will continue listening and working tirelessly until we live in a world where these statements ring true.