ICYMI: California Black Freedom Fund: Philanthropic Sign-On Letter in Response to Police Violence
From the California Black Freedom Fund: "We, the undersigned, lead philanthropic institutions throughout California that came together to seed and establish the California Black Freedom Fund. Established just two and a half years ago following the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others, the California Black Freedom Fund was created to mobilize the resources necessary to build Black power and eradicate systemic and institutional racism."
"Now, just days into 2023, we are grappling with similar situations. On January 3, in Los Angeles, Keenan Anderson was killed by a taser an officer deployed while Keenan was lying face-down on his stomach – one of three police killings in LA in one week. Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez also lost their lives to police violence. On January 7, in Memphis, Tennessee, Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten and killed by five officers during a traffic stop. Nationally, police killed at least 1,176 people in 2022 – about 100 a month – making last year the deadliest year on record for police violence since killings began being tracked."
"While the nation is grieving, some are making statements telling Black people how to express their outrage. That’s not the focus of our letter. Our letter is a call to action for everyone concerned with the brutalization of Black people and Black communities. Our letter is a call to action for those who might dare to dream of a world where police violence is a mere figment of our past – a distant object in the rearview mirror of our nation’s history. Our letter is a call to action for those who desire to transform moments of despair at injustice into a sustained movement to dismantle systemic racism and racial inequities."
"Historically, philanthropy has responded to flashpoints of police violence and mass mobilizations with an uptick in temporary funding directed toward Black communities, and more broadly, communities of color. These surges in funding often are short-term, tactical or narrowly focused. Then, when the urgency of the moment recedes, new momentum to build lasting, organized power in Black communities is lost, and resources to build multiracial coalitions disappear."
"This time, we must keep the momentum. We call on private, corporate and community foundations to invest in Black-led movement organizations pushing back against systemic barriers and expanding access to opportunity. In addition, we need a groundswell of investments from everyday people, high-net worth donors, and companies."