Building Forward Our Democracy

Friday, January 8, 2021

As an organization dedicated to advancing justice and equity for all, we at GCIR are appalled at the insurrection, violence, and rioting we witnessed earlier this week, which were direct consequences of the divisive rhetoric and oppressive policies promulgated by Trump and his enablers over the past four years. Their destructive and traitorous actions were rooted in, among other things, white supremacy, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment. What we witnessed in D.C.—and in state capitals across the country—will not go away unless we dismantle those systems and practices that enable this behavior and also hold those responsible—from the president to members of the House and Senate to state legislators—accountable for their actions, whether during a Congressional roll call or on the Capitol steps.

Our country is at a choice point. Will we build the power of Black, Brown, indigenous, and immigrant communities to bring about the death throes of white supremacy or will we normalize the perpetuation of white nationalism? Will we invest in durable multiracial, political coalitions and courageous collective action or will we invest only in incremental change that leads to an even more expanded reactionary movement against justice? Will we build forward towards freedom, liberation, and unity or will we accept the status quo and become further entrenched and divided?

We at GCIR believe that the pathway forward is clear, and we also believe that the historic victories won in Georgia this week provide a blueprint for how we build forward our democracy. We must center Black liberation, racial justice, gender justice, worker justice, and immigrant justice in our political, cultural, and movement work. We must courageously invest in the leadership of Black, Brown, indigenous, and immigrant leaders. We must resource advocates and organizers for the long term. We must invest in the sustained emotional health and physical security of those movements and organizations working on the front lines to build enduring social change. We all must care for ourselves and for each other.  

Congressman John Lewis said that “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” GCIR is committed to doing our part by moving money, building power, and amplifying the leadership of Black, Brown, indigenous, and immigrant communities. We invite our members and the philanthropic sector to stand with us in building a world where we are all safe, and where everyone thrives no matter their race or where they were born.

Photo credit: "Capitol" by Pierre-Selim Licensed under CC BY 2.0