Statement on Racial Injustice
- Nonprofit Prince George's County Executive Director Tiffany Turner, June 8, 2020
I share these words with a heart that is heavy and a mind that is full and yet hopeful. I make this statement as the Executive Director of Nonprofit Prince George’s County, but these words come from my heart as a Black woman, mother to a Black son, wife of a Black man, daughter of Black parents, sister, cousin, family and friend to more. The events of recent days have been caused, not by one event, but rather years of a broken system oppressing and abusing people of color, the very people that it was never designed to work for or protect.
For so many of us, witnessing the murder of George Floyd was the tipping point. Our communities, this nation and the world is watching as racial unrest has reached a fever pitch and unfolds. And now, silence speaks volumes.
In the midst of living through a global health pandemic, this country is now grappling with the violent and unnecessary deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others. We are being forced to face the untethered truth that due to our unaddressed painful past, we are now here, in this moment, living in this current reality.
Black bodies have been brutalized and commodified since the colonization of this country. While the survivors in Black communities have been forced to bear witness, and watch these atrocities in horror. Most have been living with this ongoing trauma for generations.
The peaceful protests and harsh uprisings are two sides of the same coin. People in communities across this country, are struggling and reconciling daily with the fear of unknown consequences for simply being and the unprocessed pain that we carry.
I knew that a statement should be made, but when and how, was the question I asked myself. My words are deliberate and intentional, they are not hollow, simply to fill space because it sounds good or is the right thing for right now. I share these words as my very breath in written and verbal form. I use my breath, the same breath that has been taken from the bodies of so many Black people, not just on this land but across the globe. Many of them, using their last to utter, I can’t breathe.
While it is important to make this point in word it is equally as important to show it in action. The days of turning a blind eye to racial injustices, both subtle and overt, are behind us. This is also a time for internal reflection for all people, organizations, nonprofits, corporations, institutions and government agencies.
Ask the question to yourself and others. What can you do? What will you do? It starts with listening to learn.
So not as a reaction of, but rather, in response to this heightened alert and call to action, Nonprofit Prince George’s County is rolling out 5 new initiatives.
Courageous Conversations - an ongoing discussion series, that highlights the voices of Black and Brown people, they speak on howÂ they use their personal and professional platforms to boldly address racial inequities across multiple sectors.
1 is 2 Many - online series that will share stories about the lives of those that we only hear about in their death. We say their name, now we will share their story
Living Legacy - a video vignettes series where people recount their personal experiences with racial injustice and how they lived through them, in their own words.
We Kneed This - in the spirit of a modern day movement builder , who took a knee, when it was not popular, to bring awareness to racial injustice, we will carry on that cause by highlighting businesses and organizations that their public statements are congruent with their internal and external actions towards eradicating racism.
Nonprofit Navigators - an innovative group internship experience that engages youth to mobilize their collective voice to achieve racial equity in the nonprofit organizations and their communities.
If you are interested in supporting one of our new initiatives, we welcome your participation. Please go to our website to learn more.
Now, to those that wish to be effective allies, stand with us today and tomorrow. Stand when the smoke clears in the cities, and while the fire still burns inside of us. Stand with us when it is common and uncommon, when it is comfortable and more, when it is uncomfortable. Stand when you are popular and when your standing makes you an outcast. Stand for those of us you know and those that you don’t. More importantly, stand with us when you have nothing to gain and something to lose, because so many people have lost the ultimate and that being their lives. Black people have paid the price with their lives because very few have been willing to stand against racial injustice, hatred and for achieving racial equity across systems not just in law enforcement, but all systems, including criminal justice, education, healthcare, agriculture, housing and more.
Addressing, dismantling, reimagining and rebuilding these institutions that have systemic racial inequities built into their very foundations, is a necessity.
Black and Brown people have been systemically underserved, over served, inadequately served and unserved by all of our systems. To change this, we must have active participation and not just a simple passive approach.
Let this moment for some, become a movement for all.
I stand because this is who I am.
I stand because I must.
I stand on the shoulders of many.
We ask that you stand, because you can.
We ask that you stand, how you can.
In Collective Space & Movement Making,