A Message of Hope and Call to Action
We wish to share with you a message that we sent to our membership earlier today.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Hi all, JDI staff and board had a meeting this morning so this message is being delivered a little later than we had planned.
Friends and colleagues: this is a message from all of us at JDI. We want to acknowledge, call out, and name that this is a continuing chapter in our work to end oppression and injustice. And that it is an especially hard day for all of us, some more than others. While we are cautious not to delve into electoral politics, it would be disingenuous to diminish the impact of this election season and the trauma that it inflicts on so many. We acknowledge and cannot ignore the ways in which hatred and bigotry have been granted permission to be expressed openly, publicly and without apology. These acts are a continuation of the long history of oppression within our country and in many ways upon which our country was built.
We also want to reach out to all of you to affirm that we are all committed to the long haul. We are organizers, activists and change agents. Social change begins with us.
As a coalition devoted to root out the causes of violence and oppression, we call upon our members and allies to join us:
Now is the time to be our best selves,
To guard against the false dichotomy of us versus them,
To stand with those who are already targets, who are terrified, who need to know that those of us with class, race, citizenship and language and other privileges will stand up and fight.
And for those of us who are white, we will also redouble our efforts to strengthen our own ally-ship work and invite others to join us.
We cannot be afraid of calling what it is that we see as having being unleashed in this country: Rape culture is real; Racism is real; Sexism is real. And other forms of oppression are real. And these things are dangerous.
So what can we do to show our support for those who are fearful for their lives, for their rights and for their safety: sexual assault survivors, people of color, immigrants, people of the Muslim faith, those who identify as LGBQ/T, people with disabilities? We know these are not one-dimensional issues by any means. The intersection of race with sexism, classism and all the other oppressions must be addressed both singularly and collectively.
At JDI we will continue to work internally and with our members and partners to integrate a racial equity lens into the work that we do at all levels: work with survivors, our members, our staff, board, volunteers, and our communities.
Today, however, this message is about taking a moment to think about what really matters, what gives us hope and how we will find our way during these difficult times. Please reach out to each other and to us and let us use our voices to support one another in our work for justice.
We could not do any of this without your support and partnership. Thank you for being part of our community and for all you do to support survivors and help us build a safer and more just world.
Peace and solidarity,
Debra J. Robbin, Ed.M.
Jane Doe Inc., the MA Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence