As we enter this Juneteenth weekend, we celebrate the work of Black Lives Matter chapters across the nation and other movement leaders working to center the voices and demands of Black people who are fighting for their lives. The chorus has never been louder and it’s as important as ever to listen and learn from Black leaders who have been on the front lines of this fight for generations and who carry the torch of their ancestors as they press forward for full emancipation. Our hearts and our solidarity is also with Tulsa, Oklahoma as it enters its centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and we are humbled by the leadership of the Terence Crutcher Foundation and others holding a sacred space today in Greenwood as they gather to demand, once again, justice and freedom for their communities.
We celebrate those in Mississippi fighting to secure justice for the thousands locked in the state’s dangerously high prison population where nearly 50 people have died behind bars in the last six months from tragic and unconscionable conditions of confinement that have only been exacerbated recently by COVID-19. In Mississippi and elsewhere, Black people are more likely to be stopped, searched, and killed by law enforcement, as well as arrested, jailed, convicted, and sentenced to prison. Black people suffer from the highest rates of pretrial jailing and we are so grateful for those working to provide relief through the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective and other bail funds across the country.