Last week, domestic terrorists stormed the US Capitol in a violent insurrection. EPIP wholeheartedly condemns their actions and the ongoing hateful and racist rhetoric that made them possible. This attempted coup was white supremacy culture in action - an effort to maintain the oppressive system that undergirds this nation’s founding and holds us back from living up to its promise. Just as alarmingly, it was met with minimal initial law enforcement response, a stark contrast to the overwhelming force deployed against peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors a few months ago.
I have struggled to find the words to articulate the multitude of emotions that I am feeling in this moment. I struggle still. And I imagine that for many of you, the events of yesterday have left you angry, hurt, disappointed, unseen, and stunned. So allow me to say this. We see you. And you are not alone.
EPIP, at its core, is a community of people who care about each other. I encourage you all, as you’re able, to reach out to your peers and colleagues. I thank those of you who are already doing so. Foundation leaders, I especially implore you to check-in with your BIPOC staff and offer them support and space to process what happened yesterday, coming out of what was already an especially traumatic year.
Even as philanthropy grapples with its own internal work to uproot racism and white dominant culture, the sector has a vital role to play in the days, months, and years ahead. We at EPIP call on the philanthropic sector to redouble its efforts to advance social justice by continuing to invest in racial equity work, BIPOC-led organizations, and community-centered movements. The threats to our democracy and our safety are not going away, and neither are we. As always, our work continues.