Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger issued the following statement on December 12, 2014, in support of nationwide marches for justice and an end to police violence:
“In Sanford, Florida, Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, New York and countless cities and towns across the country, systemic racism has trumped justice. The criminal justice system is broken and immediate federal action is required to fix it. President Obama has proposed measures to restore justice, including the formation of a new task force to promote effective policing while building public trust. We reiterate our call on Congress to support the president’s efforts – and to do even more.
”Every public official in this country needs to listen to the victims of the criminal justice system’s racism. We must lift up the voices of people of color and really listen to their everyday experiences. Florida. Missouri. New York. No place is safe if you are a person of color. Walking down the street with a bag of candy. Knocking on a door to ask for help with a broken car. Walking away from a police officer. Every activity is a perceived threat if you are a person of color.
“There are so many stories of men, boys, women and girls of color who have been victims of the criminal justice system’s racism, too many to list and far too many to dismiss as unfortunate mistakes or justified acts of self-defense. Yet, countless Americans continue to deny the plain truth: In America, the lives of people of color are not valued or respected.
“The systemic racism of the criminal justice system is at the root of the wholesale slaughter of people of color. Until we fix that, people of color will continue to live in fear and lives will continue to be lost. We must dismantle the system that kills and unjustly imprisons people of color and rebuild it together, with all of us at the table – women and men of all colors, LGBTQ people, young and old, immigrants and Native people, rich and poor, people with disabilities. Every voice must be heard and valued.
“We stand and march with people across the country who will take the streets on Saturday to call for justice and demand an end to police violence. We commit to continuing to organize dissent, raise our voices in outrage and demand reforms to build a nation of justice for all.”
For 40 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has secured women's rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in nearly 100 trailblazing organizations nationwide.