Dear Friends & Comrades,
We feel so much love for New Mexico right now. In the aftermath of a devastating Presidential election, our Land of Enchantment is a bright spot. This election, the people of New Mexico rejected the politics of hate and fear, and sent a clear message that we value all families, not just some of them. We are so proud to call New Mexico home.
Nevertheless, the results last Tuesday shocked many of us. For some of us, however, the results were not so shocking. For those of us who are people of color, indigenous people, immigrants, queer people, and disabled people, the national election reinforced a reality that many communities have faced for generations - especially by those who exist at the many intersections of our identities.
In the spirit of honesty and accountability, and as an organization seeking to breathe our commitments into action, we will continue to uplift and be direct about what is at the heart of this election - indeed, at the heart of America - which is a sustained and virulent resistance by white America to a country genuinely committed to racial justice and our collective liberation across the lines of gender, sexual orientation, class, age, disability, and citizenship.
As an organization committed to building movements, we recognize that anti-racism work with white people is a critical component within our understanding and practice of LGBTQ racial justice work. As part of this commitment, we call on white LGBTQ and allied people to join us to do more and to do better. Here are the some of the steps that we at EQNM have found helpful in building a practice of anti-racism:
- We hold each other accountable. As white staff members, Amber and Sebastian intentionally and regularly devote time to discuss white privilege and supremacy, and how it plays out in what they and we do, and in the LGBTQ community at large.
- We remind ourselves and each other that anti-racism and racial justice are not milestones or messaging points; we seek to build a practice of anti-racism so it is embedded in who we are, everything we do, and our organizational structure and culture.
- We read and share through our personal and EQNM networks articles, blogs, and other media that center people of color - especially queer and trans people of color.
- We openly discuss white privilege and white supremacy as conditions that reinforce homophobia and transphobia. We also engage in anti-racism and anti-oppression education.
- We work to be explicit in our language, programs, and advocacy efforts that racial justice is a top priority.
- We support and invest in people of color centered and led organizations and movements.
- We reflect on the privilege we experience, and how it impacts the way we show up in spaces, the way we may be perceived, and our ability to build trust and community across intersecting identities.
- We work hard to listen. People of color and indigenous people have long understood and experienced the oppression of white supremacy, and we hold each other accountable to honor and lift up those realities.
We believe in you - our community - and we believe together we are capable of meaningful change. In the coming weeks and months we will be reaching out to you to help, and we hope you will join us.
With love, commitment & struggle,
Amber Royster, Executive Director
Sebastian Margaret, Disability Community Educator
Myra Llerenas, Southern New Mexico Field Director