There Can Be No Gender Justice Without Racial Justice

Dear Colleagues,

This week, a 21-year-old white man murdered six Asian-American women, one white woman, and one white man in a violent rampage in Atlanta, Georgia. This week was also the one-year anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor.  

With heavy hearts, many of you joined us to release a statement of solidarity that condemned violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The statement was a call to action for philanthropy to invest in, and value, AAPI lives. We are clear that imperialist policy, misogyny, racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. — both historical and present day — are the roots of what made this violence possible. 

There can be no gender justice without racial justice. 

In light of these devastating losses, it is particularly crucial that this week, the U.S. House of Representatives reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a 244-to-172 vote, with 29 Republicans joining Democrats to support the bill. 

The current bill strengthens protections for women facing sexual violence by ensuring that non-tribal offenders on tribal lands can be held accountable, includes funds for housing vouchers, so survivors in federally assisted housing can relocate quickly if they need to, and guarantees that people will be able to obtain unemployment insurance if they must leave a job because of concerns for their safety.  

We urge the U.S. Congress to pass these common-sense measures – which only begin to interrupt a system that perpetuates hostility and hatred toward marginalized genders in communities of color.

Meanwhile, we stand together, we mourn together, together – we say their names: 

Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng, and the four women we don’t yet know. 

In solidarity, 

Elizabeth Signature

Elizabeth Barajas-Román
Women’s Funding Network 
President & CEO

Letters from Elizabeth