We the board of the Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento believe and state affirmatively and unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We are outraged by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and condemn the continued violent response by police against the protesters and the press exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.
Racism and white supremacy were embedded in this Country’s founding documents, and this Country has profited from, exploited, and murdered Black people since before that time. George Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to before the founding of our nation. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Dana Martin, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.
Pride was born of a riot. After enduring years of being constantly raided, harassed, and beaten by police, in the early hours of June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, and the community had finally been pushed to a breaking point. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, threw the first brick at the Stonewall Riots. Stormé DeLarverie, a Black butch lesbian, threw the first punch. These acts reverberated around the world, and served as a catalyst for a gay rights movement that has disproportionately benefited white LGBTQ+ individuals.
Given this history, it is a stark truth that Black transgender people are the most likely population to be murdered, and the least likely for their murders to result in justice. June is Pride month, and the Stonewall Foundation calls on our community to stand with the Black community and engage in sustained action to finally break the system of white supremacy in this nation. Words accomplish nothing if they are not paired with action. We challenge each recipient of this letter to make a commitment to sustained and multi-pronged action, that not only includes education and advocacy, but also listening and amplifying the voices of our Black community members.
The Stonewall Foundation will redouble its commitment to justice and continue to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in the oversight of our organization and in empowering LGBTQ youth and young adults. At our next Board meeting, we will implement concrete actions to ensure that these are not empty words, and that we continue to work to match our actions to our ideals. We will honor their lives by standing in solidarity with Black communities and other communities of color and ensuring all aspects of the Stonewall Foundation’s work will further justice and inclusion.
Dharia McGrew, Chair
Beau Reynolds, Vice-Chair
Katie Patterson, Secretary
Nate Pelczar, Treasurer