The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation Stands in Solidarity with those who are Speaking Out and Demanding Justice.

We share the rage, exhaustion and frustration about the glacially slow progress on issues of racial injustice. And, yet, we are optimistic that the issues of structural racism and economic disparity are now receiving the urgent attention from our nation in the way they deserve.

Our current national outrage is layered upon the instability, fear and economic uncertainty exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Make no mistake, our African American neighbors are shouldering the brunt of both epidemics disproportionately because of systemic issues—the very issues we are working to eradicate.

It shouldn’t take senseless deaths and a pandemic to realize the need for seismic changes in our society, yet here we are. We will leverage the public zeitgeist on these issues to push for the systemic changes necessary to propel our community to be more just and fair.

The Women’s Fund can’t possibly build an equitable tomorrow without centering racial equity in our gender equity efforts. The two are inextricably linked.

Now is a time for deep personal and organizational reflection and, we at the Women’s Fund are reflecting on our own actions and findings ways we need to improve. We have not been perfect. The women’s movement has centered the needs of white women for far too long. We are in this together and we are recommitting that women of color have power and voice to drive the Women’s Fund’s mission. One of the most critical measures of our work is how it positively impacts women of color and improves their economic condition. If there have been times when you haven’t felt heard in this movement, we deeply apologize. We must and will do better.

We are working tirelessly to get more women and specifically women of color at decision-making tables across our community. We want the viewpoints of everyday experts to hold just as much weight and power as people representing institutions. Our trajectory should be decided by those who reflect the demographics of the community. Join us by making your decision-making bodies more diverse and including the folks ‘closest to the pain’ of the issue you are discussing.

There should not be a study or a piece of research conducted in this community that doesn’t disaggregate data by race and gender. Only then can we see and act upon the stark inequities that persist in every single area of our society– from health outcomes to housing access, wage gaps to educational attainment. Join us by looking at your data with an intersectional lens and focusing your efforts on those experiencing the greatest inequities.

We are learning together how explicit and implicit race and gender discrimination has been baked into public policy over the course of our history. The effects of these policies compound over time, creating and widening disparities in our community that are difficult to reverse. The Women’s Fund is working to address policies around public benefits, the wage gap and specific workplace practices that affect low-wage workers. Join us by examining policies that govern your own sector. As new policy is created, does it specifically consider the effect it will have on people of color and women?

Your Women’s Fund is committed and mobilized. Alongside of you, we will continue to fight for a just and vibrant society where everyone can participate, prosper and reach their full potential.

In solidarity,

Meghan Cummings

Executive Director, on behalf of the Women’s Fund