People are suffering.
Months of the pandemic have taken a toll: 11 million people have gotten sick and more than half-a-million have died. Social distancing has left too many isolated. Those fortunate enough to work from home have struggled to juggle childcare and schooling while trying to work. Those forced to work outside of the home — many service industry workers — also struggle with childcare and playing teacher while not at work, all while dealing with the potential danger of being exposed to COVID-19. Too many have been trapped in their homes with abusers — for months unprotected, without respite. So many have lost their jobs and are losing their homes, as rent relief provisions expire and tenants face evictions. Across the country, people wait in foodbank lines that stretch for miles.
Armed militia members march on state capitals to protest lockdown orders, calling for businesses to reopen. Healthcare workers beg the public to stay home, as hospitals and ICUs fill to capacity in another surge of new infections. Many public health make dire projections of continued coronavirus spread. Yet, federal officials refuse to support additional economic relief, extend public aid or expand social safety net policies.
Yet, amid these dire times, there have been historic moments and amazing victories. Organizing groups that you helped fund and support were able to quickly turn tragic police brutality into unstoppable protests. Statues honoring white supremacy are toppling across the country. Mississippi took down the Confederate flag.
Everyday acts of racism across the country are being called out, as people of color and our allies demand a long-overdue reckoning. These movements for justice are largely being led by women of color, especially Black women — the latest proof that where women lead, change follows.
The first half of 2020 was filled with uncertainty, despair and confusion. Going forward, I see a promising future filled with hope, inspiration and progress. All of you are working to nourish the movements transforming unequal gender and racial power relations through intersectional philanthropy, supporting women’s leadership and insisting that we tackle issues of inequality authentically and holistically.
I am grateful and energized to be in this struggle with all of you. Working together, failure truly is impossible.
Yours for equity and justice,
Women’s Funding Network
President & CEO