JOINT STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FROM:
The Mayor’s Commission on African American Males
The Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs
The Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs
The Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs
The Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities
The Millennial Advisory Committee
The Office of Faith-based and Interfaith Affairs
The Office of Youth Engagement
The Philadelphia Commission for Women
As Philadelphians and members of the advisory Commissions representing diverse backgrounds, we recognize and stand in solidarity with all individuals, families, and communities that have faced racial violence and systemic injustice. Racism has plagued our nation since its birth. To the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color who live with the trauma, pain, grief, and rage brought about by the ignorance of the past and present, we see, hear, and value you.
Our Commissions were created to be the vehicle that brings communities to the table to voice their concerns, needs, and recommendations on policy to City government. Today and always, we commit to the following:
- Ongoing, targeted advocacy for our communities and internal changes that both ensure equity in our city and repair the damages done by long-standing injustice.
- A common search for inclusion and shared access to power, influence, and resources.
- Creating systems that disrupt the status quo by lifting up the voices and lives of those who have been historically disenfranchised.
- A deeper analysis and coalition-building to counter the systems of oppression that intersect with each other to multiply their effect on those who are most vulnerable.
Today, we insist and affirm together that Black Lives Matter.
We are also troubled by the violence and devastation that has befallen our beloved city. The destruction of community investments, businesses, and public infrastructures undermine our efforts to shine a light on the challenges we face. This should in no way, however, obscure the message of the righteous protests around the world that call for tangible action and change. In order to heal, we must take space to feel the emotions that are very present in the midst of our collective suffering while strategically forging a just path forward.
We recognize that our futures are intertwined with one another. In Philadelphia, we pledge to work as a collective to ensure the safety, security, and soundness of all of our communities, with emphasis on those suffering at the hands of others willing to abuse their power.
The month of June is normally a celebratory one. Typically, we partake in LGBTQ+ Pride festivities and programming while also commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month, a national effort to bridge divides across communities through the power of storytelling. In June, we also celebrate Juneteenth, the commemoration to the end of slavery. All occasions are opportunities to honor and recognize the lives and work of these communities, without which, Philadelphia would not be the dynamic place it is.
May this spirit of shared awareness, understanding, and celebration guide us moving forward. As we continue to work together at dismantling systems that cause harm to vulnerable communities and people of color, we will rebuild our city. Let us collectively harness our energy into imagining what’s possible so that every person—particularly those who have suffered because of abuse of power in this country—can flourish and thrive.
We look forward to doing this work alongside you.