In our community, the words exist. We must find them, lift them up, amplify them and in all the ways we can – speak truth to power.
When we chose the name WRISE, it was with a recognition that “the W is silent.” A subtle and intentional reminder that women’s voices have been kept silent for far too long. A commitment to ourselves, our organization, and the world that we would work tirelessly to ensure they would not be silenced anymore.
Black women’s voices are being silenced. Black women’s voices matter.
Black women are being killed. Black lives matter.
We can and must hold this community accountable to our name and to each other. We are each called to do the work – rooting out and dismantling racism and white supremacy alongside sexism, homophobia, oppression and all of the roots of system failure being made visible day after day for far too long. We know that the path forward is long and rocky. The challenges are internalized deeply in each of us – there is not and will not be an easy fix. We have stumbled as individuals, as an organization, and as a society and we are guaranteed to stumble again. We need to face each other with grace and compassion so that with each stumble we don’t fall backward or give up, but pull each other up, dust off and keep working.
We commit to challenging our blind spots and bias.
We commit to owning our mistakes as opportunities for learning.
We commit to creating safer spaces.
We commit to centering and amplifying the voices of Black women throughout our work.
We commit to not letting this statement be the end of the conversation.
Our liberation is inextricably bound together, to each other, to this community and to our world.
Let’s work together, listen for the unheard, find the creative voices and seek the new paths forward.