The Illinois National Organization for Women (NOW) strongly condemns the pervasive systemic racism in our country. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, the death of Sandra Bland while in police custody, and countless others are symbolic of the injustices people of color live everyday.
Police brutality, the disproportionate number of people of color killed by COVID-19, the impact of economic, healthcare, and educational policies that do not address long-standing racial disparities all exemplify the everyday struggles people of color have experienced from generation to generation. Microaggressions, small indignities, intentional or unintentional, in how we interact with people of color, can lead to a lifetime buildup of trauma.
Eliminating racism is a core value of NOW. None of us can say we are immune from prejudice, even the most progressive among us. Recent allegations of racism within our national organization are being addressed and we look forward to learning what actions will be taken that hold our leadership to the highest standards of accountability and integrity. In Illinois, we are working to recognize our own biases and ensure that we have the strongest, most effective policies and an environment where every voice is heard and every action is intersectional.
We must look within ourselves as individuals, as an organization, and in coalition with our allies to develop new strategies that fight systemic racism and take action to bring them to fruition. Our Racial Justice Committee has been formed to do just that. We do not have all the answers, but we endeavor to educate ourselves, listen, and work with others in the fight to end racial injustice. We must all become anti-racists.
While we are proud of the work NOW and Illinois NOW have done over the decades, and of the progress made in our mission, we must now rededicate ourselves to working towards and demanding equality and justice for all.
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