Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) stands with The Washington State Community Action Partnership in its belief that:
“Black Lives Matter and stands with those taking that message to the streets against a racist system of policing. The endless cycle of violence in our country, rooted in our original sin of slavery, must end. Washingtonians, especially White Washingtonians, must commit to unlearning Racism and dismantling White Supremacy in service of Racial Equity. Justice and peace will only come through our commitment to these principles and by following the leadership of Communities of Color. If we fail to take action rooted in this reality, then unrest and the despair of poverty will continue to fill the vacuum of moral leadership.
While this is far from a complete list, we say the names lost to racist policing and vigilante violence emboldened by Systemic Racism: George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till. Our hearts go out to the families and communities whose grief can only be staunched with justice.
America has failed to confront Systemic Racism not because the solutions aren’t available to us. Black and other Communities of Color have raised the alarm against over investment in incarceration and militarized policing for decades. Elected leaders and advocates must embrace new perspectives and harness the will to radically redirect resources toward the real building blocks of equitable, thriving communities: housing, food security, health care, education, jobs, and more. Nothing short of this is necessary to end Racism and build community resilience against intergenerational poverty.
Furthermore, as the first state impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, we recognize Systemic Racism has exacerbated the health crisis and contributed to unrest. Black, Latinx, and Native communities have gotten sicker and died at higher rates than White communities. Black unemployment in Washington was at least twice that of Whites before the Pandemic and all indications are that the gap is widening. Asian-American communities, especially Chinese American and East Asian peoples, have experienced racist violence and decreased patronage of their businesses”
Now more than ever BMAC is called back to the promise of community action agencies and our roots in the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty. These dual influences mean that we are tasked with challenging racism and classism through education, advocacy, and legislative change focused on economic and racial equity. BMAC plans to engage more fully in anti-racist work by focusing on improving our capacity as an organization. We will complete the following tasks in 2020:
- Complete an anti-racist education and training for board members and staff
- Complete a critical review of hiring practices and Human Resource policies
- Complete a program evaluation to identify and remedy barriers to equitable service
Adopted by the BMAC Board of Directors on August 27, 2020