Statement from Leadership

June 4, 2020

Today, like so many of you, we are grieving the violent, needless end of another Black life.  Too many have died and too many families have been traumatized because of racism.  We are grieving that so little progress is being made in our state and nation to address a history of oppression and subjugation.  We are grieving with communities that ache because of structural racism while reckoning with our own internalized bias.  And we are working to understand how best to support and commit to Black women, who fear for their own lives and those of their children, parents, brothers, and sisters.  One thing we know for sure is that much of the leadership we have in elected office is not the leadership they deserve.

Lillian’s List was founded on the idea that North Carolina’s elected leaders were simply not good enough and that we could impact the makeup of our legislature for the better.  We believe it is possible to fight for representation that looks more like us.  We know that as we fought for more women in the legislature, women of color were sometimes left out.  But we also know our work is intersectional.  We cannot talk about gender equity without also talking about racial equity.  And we cannot talk about reproductive freedom without acknowledging that race and wealth create significant disparities in accessing health care and in making childbearing decisions.

Since our beginning, we believed that the government could be a power to advance the common good and a tool to build strong communities.  But we must acknowledge that these power structures were intentionally built to leave out and leave behind our Black neighbors, friends, and relatives and leave behind communities of color.  This has to stop.  We need leadership that acknowledges the intersections between racial, economic, and gender equity.  Leadership that promotes complete access to health care for all.  Leadership that enacts policies to protect Black and Brown bodies, both from police brutality, but also from systems of white supremacy that create burdens related to lack of healthcare, low wages, and dangerous working or housing conditions.  Black lives do matter and we need to address every single way that Black people are put at risk in our communities.  Our Sisterhood must stand ready to support our Black Sisters when they fight for their families, their communities, and all of us.

We strive every day to be good allies to women of color, to identify the best ways to deconstruct racist systems and support inclusive leadership.  I know we don’t always get it right.  Elections aren’t everything and voting has not and will not be the sole solution to racial injustice.  But, elections are a scheduled, organized means of revolution.  Elections provide us the opportunity to send a clear signal to our elected officials about our communities’ needs and oust those leaders who are not representing our interests.  While it is certainly not all that allies need to do to ensure racial equity in our communities, we do have this opportunity on November 3 when every single member of the North Carolina General Assembly is up for election, along with other candidates up and down the ballot.  We can elect leaders who have actually been fighting against racial injustice and for marginalized communities their entire lives.   We can elect bold, compassionate, collaborative women who will change the narrative and face of power this November.

Lillian’s List will continue to share information about our candidates, all of whom are the kind of leaders we deserve, as well as information about how to safely vote in November.  We will also seek ways to be strong allies to leaders working to deconstruct racist structures and use our platform to inform our Sisterhood on their needs and actions we can take.  Right now, we want to lift up some allies and actions we can all take to support Black communities and fight white supremacy:

1) If you’d like to donate to our Black Featured Candidates you can do so here.
2) Join Emancipate NC by donating to their bond fund or to support their work.
3) Become a member of the NC NAACP.
4) Watch for further information on rolling protests in Durham and Mecklenburg in solidarity with those incarcerate in local jails scheduled for Friday, June 5th.
5) We also recommend checking social media and your local news sources for updates of when protests are happening in your area.

In solidarity,

Team Lillian