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While we knew this day was coming, we are still outraged and in deep grief about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. At Tzedek Social Justice Fund, we typically do not write statements in response to tragic events. For the communities we are a part of, who experience oppression daily, the statements begin to sound like white noise – a cacophony of voices that don’t often lead to action. But the recent ruling of the Supreme Court was a devastating blow to all the grassroots organizing work that we fund, not just those directly impacted by the restrictions on abortion rights, so we are compelled to lift our voice (and our dollars) to help prepare our communities for the fight to come.
In his concurring opinion to the ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated that this ruling would also put into question past rulings in support of birth control and same-sex marriage, among others. In short, this Supreme Court ruling could lead to the unraveling of human rights for so many populations pushed to the margins. The political ground that we organize on has now shifted in ways that can threaten all of our movements. Now more than ever, it is important to remember Maya Angelou’s words, “No one of us can be free until everybody is free.”
All struggles for liberation are connected. The restrictions on bodily autonomy will impact Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) at higher rates than white people. The policing practices used to enforce these rulings will lead to higher incarceration rates for BIPOC. The toxic narratives used to support this ruling are steeped in white supremacy, which threatens our Jewish communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and communities of color.
The battle to come will require that we act nimbly and quickly with our allies and accomplices to show up for each other when civil rights are under attack. Strong coalitions are built on deep and authentic relationships that are nurtured over time. Now is the time to step out of organizing silos to build authentic and deep connections with other organizations fighting for justice in Asheville.
How Tzedek Plans to Help
- Creating Spaces to Build Coalitions – We recently launched Tzedek Connect, a gathering space for our organizational grantee partners to learn more about each others’ work and build relationships that we hope will lead to future coalitions or collaborations. Our next event will be hosted at the end of September. Organizational grantee partners, keep an eye out for your invitation later this Summer! Invitations are sent via email to the point of contact for the organizational grantee partner so they can be shared with their teams.
- Providing Funds to Support Coalition Building – Are you an organizational grantee partner who is planning a relationship-building or strategy-building meeting with two or more organizations across our issue areas? If so, we have limited funds available to support meeting logistics, such as childcare, transportation, meeting interpretation, facilitation, and staff costs. We also offer Tzedek grantee partners free use of our office and Zoom account. If your organization is a Tzedek grantee partner and needs financial support or access to meeting space, please contact us at email@example.com with the details of your meeting and budget.
- Funder Advocacy – Tzedek has signed on to Women’s Funding Network’s reproductive justice pledge to urge philanthropy to increase their support of organizations on the frontline of abortion access work.
- New Grants – In preparation for the legal battles to come, we’ve reallocated funds from our budget to provide an additional $10,000 grant to our grantee partners Campaign for Southern Equality and EqualityNC who were pivotal in getting marriage equality in North Carolina and continue to engage in policy and organizing work to build a more equitable South. We have also given a $10,000 grant to Carolina Abortion Fund to ensure financial access to abortions for people in North Carolina and South Carolina.
As our wise friend, Jenifer Sterling, Executive Director of Tranzmission, has said, “Friends, if you value human rights and dignity, then work together with every other person out there doing the same. Do not argue over tactics. Embrace them all. Do not argue over priorities. Embrace them all. The only safety is through coordination, commitment, and understanding that we are all fighting for the same thing against the same people. We must be smart, active, collaborative, and incessant. We must use all the tools we have and celebrate every win, even if it doesn’t affect us personally.”
Until we are all free, Tzedek is here with you, working towards human rights and dignity, sharing in your grief, and celebrating every win.