WFN Members’ Statement of Solidarity and Call for Liberation from State Violence

Women’s Funding Network and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota issued a joint statement of solidarity following the news that a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. We invite WFN members to join us in standing in solidarity with the Black community and calling for philanthropy to support community-led groups that demand liberation from state violence for all.

Today’s verdict may bring relief, but it does not bring justice. It does not bring back a father, a son, a man – George Floyd. The only justice is a whole life, liberated from the systems in Minnesota, the U.S., and around the world, that empower police to mistreat, abuse, and murder Black, Indigenous, immigrants, and people of color.

As we press forward, we recognize that in a culture that continually reinforces white supremacy, justice can only be achieved when we confront and repair the anti-Blackness that is woven through every aspect of society—in our homes, schools, workplaces, communities, places of worship, and government.  

Philanthropy must trust those most impacted to lead the way. As we listen to communities most impacted, we must trust them when they share their truth. We recognize their leadership and vision and use our resources to invest in their solutions for whole-community safety and well-being. We must show up for one another and work in partnership, believing and building power with those who experience violence and harm at the hands of our systems. Their vision and experiences have shown us the way, and the work is on all of us to create change and to realize a new day for Minnesota.  

As women’s funds, gender equity funders and allies, our vision of gender equity is indelibly bound to racial equity. The women’s movement can only be realized when we center the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and women of color who experience state-sanctioned violence directly. There can be no gender justice without racial justice. 

Since the onset of the pandemic and the global uprising for racial justice that began in Minnesota after the murder of George Floyd, we talked to Black mothers and caregivers, Native women, and women of color through our Listening Sessions. The community shared their experience of two Minnesotas — two systems of justice, policing, education, housing, and healthcare, of safety, dignity, life, and death. The injustices they face in our state are matters of life and death.  

To transform, we cannot stop listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of communities pushed to the margins. We must transform our attitudes, our systems, our practices, and our institutions. We can and must rise to meet this moment. This is our rallying cry to continue the fight for justice and equity. 

In this moment, with this verdict, we have courage. We must keep this courage in the face of all that lies ahead – and we need your courage to join us in powering a movement for change so that all women, girls, their families, and communities may thrive. 

With courage for our way forward, 

Gloria Perez, President and CEO, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN)

Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President and CEO, Women’s Funding Network (WFN)

In solidarity, signed:

  • Jane Sloane, Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality  
  • Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women  
  • Tine Ward, Founder and CEO, Rockflower Partners Inc.  
  • Marya Meyer, Interim Executive Director, Women’s Fund Miami 
  • Meg Smith, Director, Vermont Women’s Fund 
  • Nicole Baran, Executive Director, The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation 
  • Joanne Murray, Executive Director, Women’s Fund SouthCoast, Massachusetts
  • Korey Pimental, Office Manager, Women’s Fund SouthCoast, Massachusetts 
  • Trish Tierney, Co-founder + CEO, WAKE 
  • Dr. Amalia Luxardo, CEO, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona 
  • Lauren Casteel, President & CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado  
  • Felicia Davis, President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women 
  • Brandy Loveland, WEMH Achievement Coach, WNY Women’s Foundation 
  • Karen Sterk, CEO, Jeannette Rankin Foundation 
  • Leela Bilmes Goldstein, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i 
  • Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO, Texas Women’s Foundation 
  • Melanie R. Brown, Vice-Chair, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors 
  • Elba Montalvo, Co-Founder, Puerto Rican Women’s Foundation 
  • Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors 
  • Julia Gray, Mediator & Attorney; Board President, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis 
  • Keri Koehler, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis 
  • Jessica Neuwirth, Donor Direct Action 
  • Emily Weltman, Collective Flow Consulting 
  • Tanna Clews, CEO, New Hampshire Women’s Foundation  
  • Kate Kroeger, Urgent Action Fund 
  • Junemarie Justus, Founder, The Acorn Project, Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors 
  • Julienne Lusenge, Executive Director, Fund for Congolese Women 
  • Sarah Vaill, Director of Philanthropy, The XX Fund at Liberty Hill Foundation 
  • Natanja Oquendo, Executive Director, Boston Women’s Foundation  
  • Donna Haghighat, CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts  
  • Jess Tomlin, Co-CEO, Equality Fund 
  • Amina Dickerson, Dickerson Global Advisors 
  • Erika Burnett, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga 
  • Jennifer Steadman, Executive Director, Aurora Women and Girls Foundation 
  • Kelly Nevins, CEO, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island 
  • Julie Keller, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region 
  • Sharon LaRue, Executive Director, Kentucky Foundation for Women 
  • Sheri Scavone, WNY Women’s Foundation 
  • Michelle Legaspi Sanchez, The Fund for Women and Girls 
  • Kelley Griesmer, President and CEO, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio 
  • Kimberly Crichton, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Fund 
  • Lori Adelman, Global Fund for Women 
  • Shante Avant, Vice President, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis  
  • Tracy DeVries, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Mississippi  
  • Maria Cavalcanti, President and CEO, Pro Mujer, Inc.  
  • Louise Davis, PRBB Foundation 
  • Meghan Cummins, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation 
  • Erin McArthur, Women’s Fund of Omaha 
  • Sarah Ghiorse, Executive Director, NewMexicoWomen.Org 
  • Gina Montoya, Operations Manager, NewMexicoWomen.Org 
  • Alison Gerardot, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne 
  • Zsófia Sztranyiczki, Executive Director, International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women (IWC) 
  • Paulette Senior, President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Women’s Foundation 
  • Melanie R. Bridgeforth, President & CEO for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
  • Dawn Oliver Wiand, President/CEO, Iowa Women’s Foundation 
  • Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President & CEO, Washington Area Women’s Foundation 
  • Stacey Keare, Girls Rights Project  
  • Theary Chan, Director of Partnerships, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights 
  • Shalini Eddens, Deputy Executive Director, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights 
  • Molly Schultz Hafid, Executive Director, Butler Family Fund 
  • Aliyya Shelley Mattos, Executive Director, PaperSeed Foundation 
  • Beth Bengtson, Working for Women
  • Lisa Attonito, Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee 
  • Denise Raquel Dunning, Founder & Executive Director, Rise Up
  • Mesha Davis, CEO, Arizona Foundation for Women 
  • Antoinette Klatzky, Executive Director, Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute  
  • My Lo Cook, Executive Director, Shadhika 
  • Anna Beth Gorman, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas 
  • Tania Turner, Executive Director, Fondo Semillas 
  • Terry Hernandez, Executive Director, Chrysalis Foundation 
  • Nancy Kurtz, Women’s Fund SouthCoast, Massachusetts 
  • Heather Arnet, CEO, Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest PA 
  • Loretta Ahuokpeme, Executive Director, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative (OLPHI) 
  • Paulette Senior, President & CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation 
  • Rae Strobel, Kentucky Foundation for Women 
  • Jill Nowak, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Missouri Foundation for Health; Women’s Funding Network Board of Directors 
  • Sanije Grajcevci, Women’s Association Aureola  
  • Kate Davis, Sojourner Foundation 
  • Nicole Matuska, U.S. Director, Women Win 
  • Leslie Smith, Executive Assistant to President/CEO & Operations Manager, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham 
  • Sarah Haacke Byrd, Executive Director, Women Moving Millions 
  • Saundra Amos Cornett, Self-taught artist and United States Citizen 
  • Ana L. Oliveira, President and CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation 
  • Elmer Lucille Allen 
  • Bobbi Buchanan, Social Justice writer and public school educator 
  • Bonfils Badete, Directeur Général de la Solidarité Mondiale, ONG 
  • Mona Sinha, Board Chair, Women Moving Millions 

Sign Solidarity Statement Here

Additional Resources:

Funders For Justice

Black Futures Lab

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota