We at MassEquality are outraged and sickened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, some of the most recent black lives stolen by police violence. As an organization committed to social justice more broadly and to uplifting all segments of the LGBTQ+ community in particular, MassEquality stands, today and always, with the Black Lives Matter movement. Queer BIPOC are among those who are most vulnerable to police violence, and as we mourn for those lost to such violence, including black trans lives, we also call for reforms to the criminal justice system as a whole.
Although we are clear about our values on this issue, we acknowledge that MassEquality can do better. It is not enough to simply say that Black Lives Matter: We must also commit to the actions that those words require. Our first priority will be to adopt the ten-point plan for racial equity, introduced by the Black and Latino Caucus, into our legislative agenda. We will reaffirm our commitment to developing programming that combats long-standing inequities, uplifting the voices of those who are marginalized, and connecting people with the resources they need. We will continue to build community and relationships with members of the LGBTQ+ community across all identities and to make space for those experiences. We will maintain racial, gender, and other kinds of diversity on our board and among our staff to effectively serve our communities and hold ourselves accountable to them. Above all, we will listen to criticism and suggestions from communities of color and elevate such voices to ensure that our work aligns with each community’s actual needs.
MassEquality is at a critical moment in its history. As we transform this organization from one that focuses on legislative equality to one whose programs center on advancing lived equality, we have a unique opportunity to listen and to learn.
“No justice, no peace” is more than a chant—it is a commitment to getting our hands dirty and not resting until the work is done. We are prepared to make that commitment and invite you to join the fight against systemic injustice in all its forms.
Tanya V. Neslusan