As we face the latest violent assault on black people — the nine black parishioners who were shot dead in their church in Charleston — those of us in philanthropy must think hard about our role in supporting the movement for black lives.
We have returned yet again to the kind of vigilante violence that also took the life of Trayvon Martin. We are constantly reminded of the culture of violence in our country that continues to take the lives of black people. The volatile stream of brutality and death of black women and men by police authorities and vigilantes across the country has generated and amplified a powerful black-led, multigenerational movement powered by diverse alliances.
But the systemic changes needed to end the violence won’t happen unless this movement gets the resources to build an infrastructure that harnesses a strong network of organizers and organizations. As a result, we must rethink how we finance the movement that sprouted after black activists responded not just to the killing of Michael Brown and the death of Freddie Gray Jr., but also other cases that involve the death and brutality of black girls and women.