The Center for American Women and Politics was founded to examine and disrupt the gender bias built into America’s political institutions. But these institutions – formal and informal – were also constructed to privilege whiteness. To uphold that privilege, entire communities have been dehumanized, exploited, endangered, and disempowered. Our work has made us keenly aware that changing institutions built to uphold the power of white men is difficult, and it requires those who benefit most from these power dynamics to call for and actively participate in their disruption. It also requires changing who holds power within those institutions.
We denounce the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, as well as the systemic racism, sexism, transphobia, and inequity that their deaths illuminate. We condemn the long history of police violence against Black Americans and the legal system's failure to respond. We state unequivocally our commitment to anti-racism and to our continued work to transform political institutions to make them more inclusive and responsive to the demands and experiences of all Americans.
One important component of that work is electing more Black women. Our research demonstrates the value of Black women’s voices at policymaking tables, while also highlighting the persistent barriers to their political power. With our partner organizations, we will continue to shine a light on these barriers and work to eliminate them.
But committing to anti-racism also means educating those who are privileged within racist systems to confront their own privilege, and to become both active and accountable in transforming these racist systems. In our programs to teach and empower youth, especially young women and potential women leaders, we will continue to expand our work to create diverse and inclusive environments, while more explicitly encouraging those who possess privilege to understand it, to be humbled by it, and to bend it to the work of justice.
Finally, accountability starts at home. We stand with and for our students and colleagues who bear the brunt of these institutionalized inequities. We know that our organization can and must do better to translate these values into action both internally and in our public-facing work. This is an ongoing commitment that will not end with any single statement, but will be borne out in our actions over weeks, months, and years. We are listening and we are learning. We will also act.
Susan J. Carroll