Black Lives Matter
You are undoubtedly aware of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, Black civilians in Minneapolis, in Louisville, in Tallahassee, and in Brunswick, Georgia whose murders have given rise to recent protests. These four are those that have gained nationwide attention, but we know there are countless others, including many Black trans women. When any Black life is taken in violence, we see that the playing field is not level. Violence against Black lives is an outrage and we will not stand for it. Now more than ever, it is important for organizations like ours to say loudly that Black. Lives. Matter.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation joined hundreds of LGBTQ organizations to remind our communities that silence and complacency make us complicit in the systems of oppression designed to reduce the power of our communities. Our work toward health justice is not just words on paper — we are committed to disrupting oppression by using our degrees of agency and privilege to speak out against those who would hold us down.
There’s a palpable feeling of powerlessness and fear when we witness these kinds of images of violence. It’s a lot to bear. Coming together with others in our movement, others in our organization, with our neighbors and our chosen families, we can find power in numbers.
One thing that I know in my heart is that together, we are powerful. As protests continue in the Bay Area and across our country, I hope that you will find ways to support Black lives by using your voice, taking action, and helping to build more inclusive communities. I especially encourage those of you who — like me — benefit from white privilege to arm yourselves with knowledge and understanding of what you can do as an ally to fight white supremacy and take action.
It is intolerable that we must confront and cope with these injustices in our current time. Know that our fight for health justice is a fight against the systems of oppression that affect our communities. That means we rise up for BLACK LIVES.
Joe Hollendoner, MSW
CEO, San Francisco AIDS Foundation