FROM OUR CEO
June 12, 2020
Black Lives Matter.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. E. J. Bradford.
None of these people deserved to die. Too many Black lives have been cut short by police brutality and white supremacist violence. Too many Black lives have been extinguished and replaced with hashtags and headlines. Black lives matter, and this cycle of hatred and violence must end now. AIDS Alabama stands in solidarity with all Alabamians who are peacefully protesting and standing up against the systemic racism that continues to hurt Black communities and this country.
Though smart phones and social media have made systemic racism and these hateful incidents more visible, anti-Black racism has existed since the founding of this nation. Centuries of anti-Black violence and institutional racism cannot be undone through words alone. Dismantling these systems of oppression that destroy our democracy will take our collective actions to create an Alabama that truly values Black lives. Our executive leadership, staff, and board will be discussing how AIDS Alabama can be more intentionally anti-racist in our work on an ongoing basis. We know that we can and must do better to show up and speak out in solidarity with Black communities in this fight.
We urge our supporters and allies to actively join with us in this effort. Listen to the voices of your Black neighbors; show that you value the lives of people of color; research and speak out against the effects of white privilege and racism; always speak up against racism at work, at home, or in your community; donate your time and money toward causes that support Black communities; educate civic leaders on the causes of, effects of, and solutions to anti-Black racism; and please vote with your ballot and your feet. We’ve listed below several educational resources, community organizations, and local bail or mutual aid funds as places to start.
To our Black staff, clients, volunteers, board, and community members, we commit to stand with you and for you.
Kathie M. Hiers,
CEO, AIDS Alabama