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Anti-Black Racism Must End in This Country: A Message to Black Legislators

June 2020 in

See our blog post and other messages here.

First, we want to recognize that you are being called to do more than what seems humanly possible in moments like these: lead your community, legislate within historically white power structures, organize/educate/lobby your caucuses, deal with constituents (both supportive and awful)–all while dealing with the personal grief, rage, frustration, and fear that comes with being Black in America today. 

We are committed to supporting your leadership and work to dismantle anti-Black racism and white supremacy. We will be lifting up policy solutions supported by Black-led organizations and creating spaces for legislators to learn about these policies. We will be working with Black-led organizations and movement leaders to bring resources, viewpoints, and leadership to our full network. We will be monitoring news and social media for your voices and work to lift them up across state lines. We will be clarifying specific actions that your legislative colleagues must take. We will also remain open to new ideas and new calls for action.  

Most importantly, we want to affirm that we are listening and will respond to the needs you raise. We aren’t looking for you to tackle this herculean challenge alone, so please know that we are ready to commit our staff and organizational resources to the requests you make of us. As our team takes appropriate space to center your voices, let us know if there are any additional supports we can offer at this time. You can send recommendations or ideas to helpdesk@stateinnovation.org.

We will continue this fight and work directly with all of you in our network who are actively grappling with the anti-Blackness at the center of policies that have harmed communities for generations. SiX is here to partner with you and your colleagues to envision a new way to govern, one that centers liberation long promised and never delivered.

Finally, thank you. We know that you have been leaders in this fight – with your families, your communities, and among your elected colleagues – for long before the protests hit the mainstream news. The work you have already done in your states–including the 136 state and local policies that have passed to combat police brutality since 2014–is a beacon of hope and possibility for the reforms our nation is finally calling for.

Thank you for continuing to lead in this moment. You are the leaders our nation needs right now. 

–Jessie Ulibarri and Neha Patel, SiX Co-Executive Directors