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Statement of Solidarity

Bread for the City stands in solidarity with those demanding change and leading a national conversation about racial justice in America. We grieve the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery,Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Korryn Gaines, Marqueese Alston, the death of Sandra Bland, and the thousands of Black people who have been murdered, over-criminalized, hyper-policed, and treated like their lives do not matter. There are so many who remain unnamed, forgotten in the call for justice, and for them we mourn as well.

We commend the actions of the Black organizers, leaders, protesters, and their allies, who are risking their lives to push this movement for justice and abolition forward. We condemn the police forces, National Guard, and other, unnamed paramilitary troops in the streets of our Washington, DC who have met the call for justice with unnecessary and escalated violence.

We celebrate the joy of solidarity, of “good trouble,” of taking to the streets to demand our rights, and to rejoice in the Blackness of our Chocolate City.

While we acknowledge Mayor Bowser for making a public stance against the shameful and cowardice acts of our president, we continue to urge our city leaders, including the DC City Council, to show support through action, not only through paint and street signs – as well as to make swift and real amends for the aggressive use of the DC Metropolitan Police Department against peaceful protesters. Use this moment to be bold and reflect the values of this city in our policies and even more importantly, in our budget. Take the ever increasing MPD budget and use it to fund programs aimed at undoing systemic racism and inequality throughout our city. Support Black communities. Invest in Wards 7 and 8. In the futures of our youngest residents through more significant investments to equalize our public school system.

To the nation, we say that without statehood, DC is left to be used as an example by a president masquerading as a strong-man, turning our city into his own banana republic for the purpose of a photo opportunity. The unprecedented occupation of the 700,000+ District residents, who have no vote in Congress, by federal and out-of-state troops is a dangerous recipe that can only be remedied with statehood. Bread for the City unequivocally supports the District of Columbia Statehood Bill currently being debated in the U.S. House and Senate.

We acknowledge that we at Bread for the City are not immune to white supremacy, domination, and racism. We recommit to undoing racism and being actively anti-racist within our organization, working with our staff at every level to determine a path forward for our own community. We will continue serving the people of Washington, DC with dignity and respect, standing with Black Washingtonians to support the work of dismantling systems that keep them as second class citizens in their own city and their own country.

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