As a program committed to the liberation of communities of color in this country and around the world, we have an obligation to state clearly that white supremacy kills, both by rationalizing acts of extreme, targeted violence and by sustaining systems of advantage which systemically limit the distribution of life chances worldwide. As we challenge our team, our network, and our movement to take seriously the legacy of white supremacy which manifests in colonialism, imperialism, slavery, and voracious predatory capitalism, we honor the leaders of color who’ve engaged in the work of creating political, cultural, and economic homes for their communities in the face of ongoing violence. Moving forward, we commit to living our politic of collective liberation by centering the voices of scholars, activists, and organizers of color in the development of curricula and holding brave spaces that thoroughly address anti-blackness and xenophobia. As examples of work in this area, we uplift Fellows organizing for the liberation of people of color, reclaiming and shifting mystifying and demonizing narratives, and challenging the way colorism manifests itself in all communities.
An example of racial justice work can be seen in 2005 YP4 alumnus umi selah’s Florida organization, Dream Defenders, which fights to end discriminatory profiling laws and a prison industrial complex that disproportionately affects people of color through advocacy and by mobilizing marginalized communities to vote.
Many thanks to Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda and People For the American Way Foundation staff for their help in the shaping of this issue area. Photo of 2005 YP4 Fellowship alumnus Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders on MSNBC.