FCASV’s commitment to social justice is long-standing. “Social Justice” is the first of our five core values. Each of the last three years, our annual leadership institute has addressed the intersection of sexual violence and other oppressions. Our board’s recent strategic planning work was shaped around a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework, and a determination to live out our values in everything we do. And yet, we have struggled to respond in a meaningful way to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. With our silence, we are complicit in systemic racism and the oppression of Black and indigenous people that began more than four centuries ago.
FCASV is committed to anti-oppression work and racial justice. This is a constant journey, an ongoing movement. It is not just a single moment. We are dedicated to listening to our communities, making space for each other, and owning when we don’t have all the answers. Right now, we don't have all the answers. But one thing we do know: We stand with the unrest of the Black community; we stand with those who fight injustice; we stand with the protesters who march for the lives lost and the futures we need to protect; we stand with the protesters who demand a world without violence and systemic racism. We stand with Black Lives Matter.
Dismantling white supremacy and the systems that uphold it is a shared responsibility. It is a lifelong commitment. For some of us, that commitment began a long time ago. For others, this is new. Wherever you are, we join you, and invite you to join us, in living out this commitment.
FCASV supports those who want to learn more about the intersections of sexual violence and racism. Black and brown people have been oppressed for centuries. We must acknowledge that pain, realize the impact of generational trauma, and never allow ourselves to go back. We can only move forward. Together. We must make space for healing.
So, we will be creating space for all of us to learn and grow together, and space to heal from the traumas associated with racism and oppression. No doubt, the work will be uncomfortable. It may be painful. But our commitment to ending sexual violence requires that we address systemic racism, within our own organizations, and in our communities. And, we are right here with you on this journey, every step of the way.
Here’s how we are going to begin:
FCASV will hold space for people of color working in sexual violence programs to process racism and oppression experienced every day, space for healing. An invitation to the first meeting is forthcoming.
FCASV will hold space for white people working in sexual violence programs who want to become actively anti-racist and allies with people of color. An invitation to that first meeting is forthcoming.
FCASV will provide resources for those beginning this journey, as well as for those who have been involved in anti-racism work for years. Resources include:
- A list of anti-racism films, podcasts, and other media. For that list, click here.
- A list of anti-racism books and other reading material, including a glossary of terms having to do with racism and systemic oppression. For that list, click here.
- A schedule of virtual meetings to continue anti-racist work. That schedule is forthcoming.
As we continue growing into this work, we remember the names of those who were killed, and honor those whose names and deaths have been forgotten.
In solidarity and service,
Jennifer L. Dritt