Responding to George Floyd’s Death and Advocating for Equity
Connie Moore. Executive Director of ALEXANDRA HOUSE
Alexandra House is saddened and outraged, along with many other organizations and individuals, about the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dave McAtee, Dreasjon Reed and so many others who have suffered the violence and injustices of a society where racism and other oppressions are embedded in our institutions and systems. Where equity cannot be achieved without significant soul searching, self-awareness, and activism; and where deliberate and measured public policy changes are brought forward and implemented.
At Alexandra House, we know that domestic violence is a rendition of oppression. Oppression takes many forms and plays out in a myriad of ways, whether it is in one’s own home in the form of domestic violence or in our communities as excessive and/or lethal police action. On a societal level, oppression plays out in many ways – racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, misogyny, etc. Oppression, no matter where or how it manifests, is about gaining and maintaining power and control by creating systems that inherently benefit those in power and hurt those who are not. We witness this through our personal experiences and through the struggles of individuals and families who seek our assistance in escaping the violence in their homes. We see how the inequities built into systems re-victimize the most vulnerable.
We must continue to educate ourselves and take action against racism – to be anti-racist. The devastating impact of systemic racism in our country obviously cannot be fully addressed in short order. There are no quick fixes and demands that those of us with privilege listen, learn and act in coalition with communities of color to make the institutional and systemic changes that will create a more just and equitable world. One of the results of the pandemic and the horrific murder of George Floyd has been to shine a very bright and harsh light on the inequities within our institutions, systems, and communities as a whole. Some of us will say this is nothing new – we already knew about these things. I believe that what has been more clearly exposed, to many who have not yet made these connections, is how these inequities act in synergy and produce a complex web of oppression – one that each of us is tied to – and negatively affected by…no matter who we are. It is so overwhelming that there are moments where you just want to turn it all off – wish it away – accept less – run away and are, at times, immobilized. We know that knowledge, understanding, and empathy are powerful and energizing tools in helping to make change happen.
Alexandra House’s mission is to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence and inspire social change through education, advocacy, and support. We are on the front lines in addressing the oppression and inequities that prevent people from achieving their dreams and realizing their full selves. The focus right now is on our law enforcement systems – locally and nationally. We have strong partnerships with our local law enforcement agencies, and we value these partnerships that are built on many years of relationship building, education, and the ability to have hard conversations when needed to create change. As our state and local governments move forward in their work to change how their law enforcement agencies ensure the peace and safety of their communities, we will be advocating for changes that directly address racism and other oppressions that are inherent in every system and institution in our society. At the same time, we at Alexandra House, must do the soul searching and truth-telling within our organization and focus on our anti-oppression work.