Black Lives Matter. We stand with our Black community. We stand against the policing of Black bodies, the militarization of the police, and systemic and institutionalized racism.
Who We Are
Today, we speak to you as a group of 13 individuals that make up the staff and board of Building Bridges. This statement reflects our voices and is representative of a range of racial/ethnic identities, centering leadership from people of color. As a group, we are all experiencing this moment very differently.
But one thing stands: as individuals and as a community, we are angry. We are devastated. We are overwhelmed and hurting, exhausted and afraid. And we are also hopeful and motivated and ready. We are ready for this moment and for what comes next.
As an organization, Building Bridges has always been open and upfront around the lens of our work – we are anti-oppressive and intersectional, with a 25-year legacy of challenging ourselves and our participants to deeper authenticity, relationship, and awareness. Over the past four years, we have intentionally been shifting to center racial equity across all that we do, knowing that this shift allows us to more fully pursue our vision of seeding a just and inclusive world.
What We Value
We value Black lives and the liberation of Black people from oppression.
We value empowerment and justice.
We value empathy and deep listening.
And we recognize the humanity in ourselves and others.
Where We Stand
Black Lives Matter.
We mourn the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many, many others.
We stand with our Black community. We stand with the protestors. We stand in solidarity with our community partners advocating for concrete steps to increase racial equity in Colorado. Specifically, we stand with Student Voice and Leadership and others who are pushing for Denver Public Schools to end its contract with the Denver Police Department and remove police presence from our children’s schools.
We condemn the Trump administration’s calls for violence against protestors. We condemn police brutality, the militarization of the police, and the structural racism embedded in the law enforcement system.
We lead and teach with empathy, but we don’t hand-hold. We are here for the discomfort of this work. We are here for difficulty and conflict, for pain and grief. And we keep showing up for it because we are also here for the joy of true connection and for the hope of building a better way forward.
We commit to showing up – every single day – for the personal, interpersonal and community work required to increase racial equity. We commit to centering the leadership, voices, and needs of Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color.
Our team has been on the ground, putting our beliefs to action, and we are in the business of dismantling white supremacy for the long haul. We are the marathon runners, not the sprinters. And that’s okay – we need both. We are here for the newbies who want to learn and the OG’s who want to deepen their anti-oppressive practices. We are here as a community that is always learning and growing, constantly challenging ourselves to deeper inclusion in our programs, communications, and organizational structure. Further, we commit to moving our own financial resources to the cause of racial equity through the Liberated Leaders Fund. Learn more about this and join us here.
Call to Action
We ask that you join us in the fight.
- Donate to Black Lives Matter 5280, the Colorado Freedom Fund, the Denver Justice Project, George Floyd Memorial Fund, and other organizations leading the community response where you live
- Call and email your elected officials, including mayors, school board members, and district attorneys to demand accountability and change.
- Sign your organization on to this letter and ask your Representative to support this House resolution condemning police violence and asking for accountability
- Protest, vote, volunteer, host a Learn Your Rights presentation, and seek other ways to be active in your community
- Take care of yourself and others by connecting with loved ones, engaging in art and movement, or taking time to heal in community.
With love and solidarity,
Hameeda Abdul Kadir, Celeste Alamillo, Brittney Bobadilla, Megan Devenport, Hannah Galgiani, Rachel Lynn, Darion Mayhorn, Jenny Medrano, Maren Miller, Raegan Quattlebaum, Robbie Roppolo, Zoe West, Jalisa Williams