Today’s racial justice movements need protection — and funders must respond
Jesenia A. Santana, senior resource strategist at Solidaire, wrote an opinion piece for Candid to discuss how Solidaire supports racial justice movement leaders who are facing heightened levels of risk, trauma, and violence.
Solidaire listened to the calls of movement leaders who are experiencing vigilante and state violence and created a new funding vehicle to keep them safe.
Santana discusses the retaliation and mass arrests organizers in the Phoenix Metro area faced after Black Lives Matter protests:
“Like so many others across the country, members of Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro have organized and participated in numerous protests and public calls for racial justice in the past year. Their activism has kept a powerful spotlight on the harms and trauma caused by white supremacy and the need for healing and liberation for Black communities and other oppressed people. But that work has come at a great cost to the safety and security of people and organizations on the front lines.
Activists in Phoenix and elsewhere have experienced extensive harassment and serious threats to their safety from white nationalists, vigilantes, and police. During a May protest marking one year since the police killing of George Floyd, 124 people were arrested by Phoenix police without cause, with some undocumented participants chained at the wrist, waist, and ankles and turned over to federal immigration authorities for detention and possible deportation.”
Santana calls on philanthropy to be responsive to the changing landscape of digital and physical threats that grassroots organizers are facing:
“These are investments that do not fit into traditional funding models from philanthropy and government. And yet what could be more important to the success and sustainability of organizations and movements fighting for our collective liberation than the security and protection of their people?
The need for safety is immense. The people and groups on the front lines in the fight for our collective liberation are under threat. As funders committed to racial justice and movement building, let’s ask our nonprofit and movement partners what they need — and let’s commit together to support their efforts to keep themselves safe.”
Read the full article here.