Today, our hearts are with Breonna Taylor's grief-stricken family and her community. Once again, Black Americans have been let down by our justice system. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial oppression are embedded in our laws and public policies, and women of color suffer most from these inequities, and all women suffer as a result. Not only does this have a devastating impact on women's lives, but it also hurts families, communities, future generations, and our entire economy.
For generations, women and girls of color in Rhode Island and across America have faced systems designed to deny them agency, voice, and economic opportunity. We know that we must do more to overcome centuries of systemic racial oppression and recognize communities of color's skills and assets.
WFRI's work is driven by our vision statement, which imagines a community, nation, and world free of gender bias and racism and where social justice exists for all. Our social change shows up through community engagement, removal of barriers to resources, and equitable social and institutional systems. Communities are more vital, our economy is more prosperous, and our nation is more just when we invest in women and girls. This investment includes health and well-being, economic self-sufficiency, and leadership and empowerment of women and girls, particularly by focusing on those who experience the most profound inequities. There is no gender justice without racial justice.
Over the years, we have worked hard to grow a diverse board, highlight racial disparities in our research, and provide funding for initiatives that serve diverse communities and opportunities for women of color. Can we do more? Can we do better?
The answer, of course, is yes. This past spring, our board committed to providing multi-year grant funding to the initiatives we support and taking a deeper dive into racial equity training. Members of the 2019-2020 Class of our Women's Policy Institute (WPI) committed to being an explicitly anti-racist, anti-oppression, justice-oriented alumni group. We hired a racial equity coach to review our WPI materials, providing specialized training, and identifying more speakers of color for the program. We are looking internally at all of our systems to identify opportunities to be more inclusive.
This is our commitment to anti-racism. We will not stop working to create systemic change that results in equity for all in our community, resulting in a world free from the institutions and violence perpetrated by racism and patriarchy. We will keep working until there are no more lives lost, such as Breonna Taylor's.
Women's Fund of Rhode Island