This is a much longer story for another time but we had 150k pulled from the organization this year for calling the El Paso attack an act of white supremacy on our website. 3 times the foundation tried to bully us to take it off our site.
3 times I, a Latina leader, had to sit on a call w/ a person who was more concerned w/ what the consequences might be for them if a customer was bothered we used the words white supremacist violence on our website than that I and people who looked like me had recently been killed
I did my personal best to facilitate that conversation from a place of possibility but hold a firm line both about the humanity of my people and that I/we were not obligated to obedience because they sent us a check.
We were told to send the check back but I can't tell you what those conversations costed. And even the fear I have of saying this out loud and getting labeled a difficult one. But it was not the first nor do I believe it will be the last time that I/we will return money.
I am a firm believer that we have to stand for our communities even when the consequences are high and invisible to the outside world. But I read all our various tweets about this story today and felt like it might be helpful to read a real life example to the heaviness you read.
The women of color leaders I know and love are GIANTS. Just towering examples of strategic, empathetic, community above ego leadership. I also often watch us experience a wearying racism in the fight to bring resources to our communities. It is often the price paid to do the work
And the wildest thing is we get the least but when shit goes down, they are the first to step in to hold each other up. Even though so many grants ask "how are you different from" these women never take the bait. These women make a whole new river. It is life-affirming.
You can follow @karlitaliliana.
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