Today, and every day, we at Democracy at Work Institute express our solidarity and support for Black people who are fighting racism on all fronts. Our team is heartbroken by the loss of George Floyd’s life -- and the lives of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless unnamed others. We are heartbroken by the violent pattern of disregard for black lives in America. Black lives matter.
It is unequivocally wrong that people must march in the streets for the right not to be murdered. It is fundamentally unethical to have to petition repeatedly for your humanity to be recognized and valued. It is profoundly exhausting to spend energy constantly fighting when that energy could be better spent in a thousand life-giving ways. And yet, here we are, at a moment of unequivocal, fundamental, destabilizing wrongness. Again.
This moment feels acute, but in reality everyday racism threatens Black Americans’ lives and well-being. The brilliant Maurice Mitchell at the Working Families Party draws a direct line from today back to the “commodification of Black bodies centuries ago,” through racial capitalism, America’s founding structural violence.
In a country whose wealth was built on the ownership of stolen human beings to work stolen land, ownership must also be part of the solution. Ownership that is broad-based and human-centered, that benefits communities, that binds our liberation together. By expanding shared business ownership opportunities, we aim to address the systemic inequities that have plagued Black Americans for generations, and we acknowledge we must all do more.
Real safety comes not from violent policing, but from building new institutions that remedy harm and produce equity as they operate. At DAWI we work with economic and racial justice organizations to build economic systems that can do this better than the ones we have. As we rebuild, we call on people of conscience to work toward an economy that is owned by and benefits those who have been locked out of ownership opportunities by racism.
We hold up the courageous people, young and old, who are raising their voices to build this world, these systems and institutions. We see and share your pain, exhaustion and righteous rage -- and also your hope, strength, brilliance and hard work. We protest, build, and walk with you toward a future free from racism and white supremacy.
— The Staff at Democracy at Work Institute
To be a part of the solution, support a local bail fund or local organizing group, take time for self-care, listen to communities, join us as we raise our shared voices, get involved, advocate and vote to ensure accountability and equity in all our institutions.