The Boston Pride Board has heard the voices of concern from members of the community regarding a previous statement posted on our website related to the recent atrocious events of the murders of Black and Brown people at the hands of police officers in so many places across this country. We deeply apologize for the hurt and pain we caused by our shortcomings. We pledge to hold ourselves accountable now and in the future. We acknowledge that we need to do more as a social justice organization to not only communicate our outrage, horror and intolerance of these acts of police violence, but also to take substantive action to better address racism and white privilege within Boston Pride, the LGBTQ+ community and society at large.
We promise to do better at listening to our community and pledge our commitment to support and work in collaboration with organizations that serve communities of color and address racism, to ensure that our organization, programs and events prioritize their needs and concerns.
We will be issuing a set of short- and long-term actions we plan to take to improve our organization and better support LGBTQ+ communities of color. We invite you to send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can practice listening to our community.
We stand together with the Black and Brown community. #BlackLivesMatter
Here is our revised statement:
Boston Pride mourns the deaths of yet another recent list of Black and Brown people unjustly killed by police violence. And we stand with those who, over the last several days, have protested in cities all across this country to advocate for the kinds of structural reforms that will benefit the Black and Brown community. The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to the systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism shown starkly through violence committed by the law enforcement system throughout the decades.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Boston Pride. The first Pride event in Boston was held one year after the New York City Stonewall Riots, which erupted in June 1969 in response to persistent police harassment and violence. Fifty years later, the violence against Black and Brown people, especially Black trans women, undeniably demonstrates ongoing structural systems of oppression and racism, reminding us that our work is far from done.
Racial violence in the U.S. is maintained, perpetuated, legitimized, and normalized by an entire system of entrenched social injustice. The 50th anniversary of Boston Pride calls us to honor the courageous, multiply oppressed LGBTQ+ people who risked their welfare to fight back. In its origins, the Gay Liberation Movement was a countercultural movement that understood all forms of oppression as linked. It is as important as ever for us to continue the hard work that is required to address the injustices all marginalized people face. In this moment it is especially critical to form broad coalitions committed to addressing the deep forms of structural racism that persistently manifest as forms of violence against Black and Brown people.
Boston Pride affirms its commitment to work toward a world that honors equality, equity, dignity, and respect for all people. We urge everyone to take concrete action toward dismantling institutionalized racism by vigilantly compelling elected officials to commit resources to anti-racist efforts; joining collective public actions that express the immediacy, importance, and magnitude of the problem; calling for the de-militarization of police forces; revising power structures within institutions; educating our friends, family, and community about how unconscious bias and institutionalized racism function; and persistently being the person in the room that calls attention to issues of social injustice.
Oppressions are interlocked, no one is free until we are all free. #BlackLivesMatter