To our staff, students, supporters, and the wider community, we want to loudly reaffirm that Black Lives Matter.
We must not remain silent as our struggling, hurt, and much too flawed democracy continues to oppress, subjugate, and murder its Black citizens.
As the leaders of an organization committed to healthier, more equitable democracies: democracies that elevate and center the voices of every member, democracies where civic leadership is synonymous with citizenship and not bureaucracy and financial wealth, and democracies that allow its citizens to live without fear for their own life, it is of utmost importance that we strongly and urgently encourage each and every one of you to support these brave civic leaders fighting for racial justice in the United States.
Civic unrest has time and time again proven to be a means for effective, immediate, and radical social change. We certainly hope this current movement pushes the country towards a more just and equitable future and we will lend whatever support we can, both as individuals and as an organization, to the Black community.
After a preliminary, yet fruitful, conversation, members of the U4SC community were in agreement that while our work is crucial to the long-term health of civic societies globally, we want to ensure that we use this time to elevate, support, and empower grassroots civic leaders fighting today for their basic rights.
To that end, both I and U4SC’s CFO, Kirk Alemán, will personally match every donation up to $5,000 made to one of the below organizations, led by those most impacted, that are supporting civic leaders fighting against police brutality in the United States (email a receipt to [email protected]):
One in our backyards: Brooklyn Community Bail Fund: https://brooklynbailfund.org/
One in line with our educational mission: The Black Lives Matter at School: https://blacklivesmatteratschool.com/
We also want to ensure that those looking for ways to become civically engaged towards racial justice know of the organizations doing great work through the links in the post:
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
Color of Change https://colorofchange.org/
Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity http://boldorganizing.org/
Organization for Black Struggle https://www.obs-stl.org/
UndocuBlack Network https://undocublack.org/
National Association of African American in Human Resources https://naaahr.site-ym.com/default.aspx
National Black Chamber of Commerce https://www.nationalbcc.org/
United Negro College Fund https://uncf.org/
100 Black Men of America https://100blackmen.org/
Equal Justice Initiative https://eji.org/
Black and Pink https://www.blackandpink.org/
And many other local grassroots groups and bail funds directly supporting these civic leaders, which you can often find on local Facebook pages.
And know of the useful resources from the ACLU and Amnesty International on ensuring your rights are protected:
ACLU’s Know Your Rights Page: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/protesters-rights/
Amnesty International’s Protest Resources and Toolkits: https://www.amnestyusa.org/protests/
U4SC’s Executive Team would like to highly encourage everyone to direct any resources they can towards these organizations and remind all of our students, followers, and supporters to be safe as they continue to fight for a better society for all citizens. We are also reaffirming our commitment to internally interrogating, reforming, and improving our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our own work.
We stand with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many more; and we feel sadness and anger, demand action and change, desperately seek justice and peace, and reiterate that Black Lives must Matter.
With love and solidarity,
U4SC’s Executive Team:
Priten H. Shah, CEO
Chandani Shah, COO
Kirk Alemán, CFO
Nina Bamberg, Director of Programs
Alan Plotz, Director of Operations