To Whom It May Concern;
This is an open letter from frontline leaders engaged in the struggle for justice in Ferguson and the larger fight against police brutality and Black dehumanization, to request real solidarity. This is a moment recorded for the future and we are writing this letter to open up ways for people to stand in solidarity.
This is a historical moment that young people are leading, but that should come as no surprise because young people have always been the fuel of social movements. Youth leaders recruiting, planning, living and creating the change we want to see and the world we want to live in–and we are doing that now in Ferguson and New York and Los Angeles and Cleveland and beyond.
For all of our lives, people of color have been fighting to breathe. Our country has the world record of incarcerations and deportations. Black women, girls, men, boys and LGBTQ folks have had their lives taken by the hands of law enforcement. We are part of communities directly impacted by this violence, family separation, degradation, and pain. We stand strongly against the institutional systems and policies put in place that excuses murder by law enforcement, including within the institutions who would seek to be our partners in this work.
We know that our leaders are listening. President Obama has met with some of us, and the Department of Justice has announced its investigations in respective cities. There is no doubt Congress and the Supreme Court will have a side to choose in this discussion in the near future, but the work that we are doing is focused on building local strength. We are educating our communities, recruiting spokespeople, and building up our organizations. And whether or not our elected officials do their part, we will continue this work. We are not waiting for institutions to determine our path forward. Our solutions and demands are tailored to the unique needs of our communities and the people in them. There is no one prescription for change, and we believe the people in those communities are the ones who can best create that change.
We want you–yes, you–to join us in this struggle. To create big change, everyone needs to fight together. Here is what you can do right now to build a strategic vision with us that prevents the next murder by the rule of the law:
- Endorse our demands. These demands are born of our lived experiences in our communities, and born of our desperate need to dismantle the status quo. There is no one demand, because there is no one-way to fix this problem. Respect our work and our expertise and embrace our demands. Push for them with our elected officials and make them part of your demands.
- Donating to our work. This is a labor of necessary work for us, and it costs money. We are scrappy, entrepreneurial, and efficient with our resources, but we don’t have very much. Your money or other in-kind contributions are urgently needed and greatly appreciated. To donate please click here https://donate.advancementproject.org/page/contribute/make-a-donation-to-freedom-side
- Uplifting our leaders. Our movement is full of leaders, both new and experienced organizers, artists, business leaders, policy wonks, and frontline community members. We do not need the leaders of the past telling us what to do, we need the leaders of the past to be a resource to help support us. Media outlets can amplify our leaders, friendly organizations can consult our leaders, funders can sponsor our leaders. We are eager for partners and friends to stand with us and behind us in this struggle.
We are marching for the lives of the fallen and the lives of the future. Join the Freedom Side.