Our Statement on the Death of George Floyd and This Critical Moment

by raymond on June 02, 2020

By Liberty Hill Board Co-Chairs,
Amelia Williamson, Jared Rivera
& President Shane Murphy Goldsmith

Last week we witnessed a Black man, George Floyd, murdered in broad daylight in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We stand with Americans in communities across the country who are sharing pain, anguish, exhaustion and anger due to the senseless killing of yet another Black man by police. Our hearts are broken. They are broken for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade and countless others who have been killed due to racial and police violence and who now rest in power.
 
Power.
 
Throughout the history of our country, the power to change laws, to enslave human beings and to shape the course of this nation has rested in the hands of a tiny few.

At Liberty Hill, we firmly believe that the people most affected by systemic oppression should be the ones leading the fight for change. We believe in the power of protest and raising your voice against injustice and we stand in solidarity with the protestors calling for systemic changes that are long overdue. The police violence against Black people and other people of color that has plagued our country must end. We must all raise our voices to make this a reality. 

Building People Power

More than ever, we are committed to ensuring that Black people have the power to make substantive systemic changes that will directly impact their lives—on everything from education to criminal justice reform, access to health care and good paying jobs. The stunning disparities that continue to exist in communities of color will not disappear without sustained and direct action to address centuries of racial and economic violence. And as we have seen in recent weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has only compounded the inequities that have long existed.
 
Across Los Angeles, our grantees and community partners, have been doing the hard work of dismantling the systems of oppression that have persisted for generations. They have not given up the fight—not in the face of years of continued resistance—and not in the face of a global pandemic that has shifted the way we live, work and organize. And neither will we. 

An Enduring Commitment

We strongly reaffirm that Black Lives Matter to Liberty Hill.
 
We also firmly believe that Black Voices Matter, Black Organizations Matter, and Black Leaders Matter.
 
Liberty Hill is committed to ensuring we continue to use our financial resources to support Black-led organizing and the activists on the frontlines. We are committed to using our voice to promote anti-racist policies and amplify the voices of those screaming for justice. And we are committed to supporting and promoting Black community leaders who have the vision and fortitude to go the distance in this fight. 

We will continue to focus on investing in communities, not criminalization, and our energy will remain focused on the fight ahead and how we can best support community-led efforts to tackle the crisis of systemic racism. We will also continue to stay focused on our Agenda for a Just Future goals to end youth incarceration as we know it, fight for a roof over every head and eliminate toxic neighborhood oil drilling in our local communities, as recent events have underscored the critical nature of those efforts, particularly to the lives of people of color.  

Here are three steps that you can take right now to get involved:

  • Give directly to organizations that are Black-led and committed to Black lives.

  • Listen to Black-led organizations for greater understanding of systemic issues and the complex solutions they propose. Visit their websites, receive their newsletters, and follow them on social media.

  • Contact us about joining one of our collaborative grantmaking funds or making a one-time donation to support Black-led organizing and the activists on the frontlines.

Organizations Committed to Black Lives

Check out this list of community organizations to find out more about their work and how you can support their efforts. These organizations may be protesting for Black Lives, organizing for justice and police accountability, working to end youth incarceration, fighting for renter protection, and building Black Power. 

Contribute to the Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice

Philanthropy’s disinvestment in Black communities has had real and painful consequences, but despite gross underfunding, Black organizations have been able to make major progress in a variety of areas over the years. Now we have an opportunity to push the philanthropic sector to make long-term commitments to funding grassroots organizations working to end anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence. Liberty Hill’s Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice supports community organizations that are pressing for urgently needed police accountability and a renewed commitment to racial justice in Los Angeles, with a focus on Black communities. The purpose of this fund is to address the root causes leading to racial violence and accelerate the momentum created by organizers on the ground. Support the Fund Today!

Support Black-Led Giving Circles

The movement to expand equity and justice has always been supported by dedicated Black philanthropists who give of their time, energy and money to help fuel progress in Los Angeles. Liberty Hill is home to two Black-led Giving Circles called the Building Leaders and Cultivating Change (B.L.A.C.C.) Fund and Angelenos for L.A. that specifically raise money in support of initiatives to positively transform the African American community. These dedicated donor-activists provide grants to organizations that work to empower the community in the areas of education, jobs and leadership development. They also provide member education on everything from integrated voter engagement to progressive ballot initiatives. Donate now to support their efforts. 

Recent events are a painful remember of just how critical the fight for justice continues to be in our nation. As Los Angeles prepares to reopen after months of quarantine, we have an opportunity to expand the discussion about racial justice in America, starting with our friends, family and colleagues. If we lean into the difficult conversations, keep our minds and hearts open, and listen to the people who are being affected, we can raise our collective voice to shatter the status quo.

Liberty Hill stands in solidarity with the Black community in rejecting business as usual. We condemn the racial terror levied on innocent Black Americans. And we fully commit to doing our part to ensure our work centers on increasing the power and visibility of communities of color, today and every day.
 
We invite you to join us in investing in long-term partnerships with communities working to end anti-Black violence and police brutality, and building lasting freedom and dignity for Black communities and all communities of color.