BLACK LIVES MATTER
“I can’t breathe.”
Our hearts are shattered as another black man pleads, “I can’t breathe” in the final moments of his life as he is killed by police. We are sickened by this tragedy. We are enraged at the racism and white supremacy that make this - and far too many other murders - possible.
Black Lives Matter.
We grieve and mourn George Floyd’s death, but that is not enough. We remember and honor George Floyd and the countless other black people killed, not just by police brutality but by the entrenched and pervasive racism that is the bedrock of this violence. We see the injustice in the justice system.
At the Victim Rights Law Center, we stand in solidarity with our black communities. This is not simply a statement; it is an acknowledgement of our commitment to the long-term, hard work of racial justice. We know the shared roots of racism and gendered violence run deep. We see it with the disproportionate impact of sexual violence on black, indigenous, and other people of color; economic inequities; mass incarceration; harsher prison sentencing; and impoverished access to justice.
What can we do as a nonprofit law center? We commit to using a racial equity lens in providing legal services for sexual assault survivors. We commit to centering and listening to black voices. We commit to examining privilege and power; to naming how our work combatting rape, sexual assault, and gender-based violence is inextricably linked to the battle for racial justice. We commit to working towards dismantling white supremacy. We commit to using our privilege, power, and influence to speak out, and stand up as allies. We commit to work to end the scourge of racism that infects our systems and perpetuates police violence.
We demand police accountability and justice. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Matthew Ajibade. Paterson Brown. Eric Harris. William Chapman. Walter Scott. Christopher Whitfield. Atatiana Jefferson. Botham Jean. Countless more. Say their names with us. Honor their lives. Pursue equity relentlessly. Demand justice. Take action. We cannot let their deaths be in vain.
Black Lives Matter.