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UMOJA’s Open Letter To The Community

Dear Community,


It is with heavy hearts that we pen this open letter to our community. We particularly recognize the advocates and survivors, who we work on behalf of and intentionally join voices with, who are on the margins within our movement. While our movement and the world released statements about racism and police brutality, we deliberately focused on listening to the voices of our community of advocates. Supporting them through one tragedy after another. It was challenging to find the words to depict our rage, fear, and continued frustration while trying to maintain a level of optimism. This open letter is nothing short of our efforts.


We realize that this country’s foundation is rooted in white supremacy, racism, sexism, homophobia, and misogyny. These roots have created systemic issues for the communities that we proudly work on behalf of and support. We also realize that change cannot happen without disruption, protest, unrest and allies.


COVID-19 has affected marginalized communities at a disproportionate rate and has highlighted the structural racism and racial disparities within the public health sphere.

While many are adjusting to their “new normal,” the pandemic brought about a new stress within marginalized communities. It eliminated the self and community care opportunities these groups rely on for their survival. While developing new resiliency strategies to navigate the world with COVID 19, marginalized communities must also navigate with the fear of increased and state sanctioned policing, and threats of military force.


On the coattails of COVID-19, communities of intersecting identities continue to face police brutality and a flawed justice system. This reality highlights the never-ending demonstration of how little black lives matter in this country.


Communities are struggling with the process of grief. It is a daily challenge to keep up with the back-to-backtragedies on display in our country! We stand in solidarity with the Black community, as a generation carries the burden of fear, stress and hypervigilance that the generation before fought so hard to overcome. How many bodies need to be mistreated and murdered before a national outrage for justice is ensued?


As we watch the world awaken and reconcile to the harsh realities of racism, discrimination and privilege, we are reminded of what many already know, live, and experience daily. We affirm that there is no right way to feel right now and should you find yourself in the middle of any emotions, that’s okay.


While this national response to police brutality is necessary, we recognize that many are exhausted, pained by lived experiences that have been invalidated for so long, and gaslighted by America trying to convince them that racism has been abolished. It is time for our movement to act in unity!



We are holding leaders, allies and aspiring allies accountable to prioritize and make significant change. We expect them to uphold equitable and respectful practices in all aspects of our movement! Marginalized communities should not be expected to remain silent about the issues that are significant to them, especially those significant to advocates and survivors. It should no longer be acceptable to push out opposing voices from our movement. We expect acknowledgment of the micro-aggressions experienced by advocates and survivors with marginalized identities, with a commitment to be accountable for harmful attitudes and actions. We expect acknowledgement of the contributions made by marginalized communities to our movement. We expect equitable and fair compensation for the emotional and other labor performed by advocates with marginalized identities. We demand that the tokenization of people stops immediately.


We demand change. We demand space for healing. We demand that allies work alongside marginalized communities in dismantling systemic racism and discrimination within our workplaces, communities and homes.


  • Support advocates and survivors who hold marginalized identities by listening and believing their experiences.


  • Support and encourage advocates who hold marginalized identities to attend weekly UMOJA- Community Care Corner meetings.


  • Support advocates and survivors who hold marginalized identities by committing to changing inequitable policies and practices in your organization and our movement.



In Unity,





The acronym UMOJA is, “Uniting and Mobilizing Opportunities for Justice and Access.” UMOJA which means unity, is an anti-oppression group within MCEDSV. UMOJA, recognizes that race and ethnicity continue to be a worthy and necessary grounding to eliminating barriers in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence, in addition, our umoja/unity is open to those who experience oppression in multiple intersections of their identity.