Gender equality and racial equality are inseparable

Nearly 20 years ago, The Women’s Fund adopted a values statement that informs our work to this day. It begins,

“We believe that positive social change will come about only when barriers of gender, class, ethnicity, race, educational background, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, and faith traditions are overcome.”

Today, it has never been clearer how important those values are. We must see the persistent unequal treatment that our Black sisters and brothers endure and eradicate systemic racism that allows insidious discrimination to hide and thrive in our communities. We must not allow one more Black mother to endlessly fear for her child’s life, let alone mourn that child’s senseless death at the hands of an oppressor.  

Gender equality and racial equality are inseparable. To achieve one, we must achieve both. As we advance our mission of transforming the lives of women and girls, we will be relentless in confronting and removing the racist barriers that impede positive social change. We will work tirelessly to ensure that our community adopts and supports intersectional, equitable measures that value all lives and experiences, especially those of people of color. We will bravely demand solutions that close the gender and racial wealth gap and create gender and racial parity in leadership roles. We will also continue to boldly fund programs that promote economic empowerment of and leadership opportunities for women and girls of color because when they lead and prosper, we all flourish.

Never has there been a greater need for collective power. We must work together now to eliminate the racism that stands in the way of equality. Now is the time to seek understanding, eradicate our biases, use our voices, and forever change the abhorrent cultural norms that have held down too many for too long.

We join our community in condemning racism, demanding change, and doing the hard work to make that positive social change a reality.

Published June 2, 2020