The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood serves a region that has long borne the hateful burden of racism. For hundreds of years, under the watchful eyes of relics from a long-lost war, our patients and staff have faced the trauma of white supremacy and racism. We stand in solidarity with our communities and for those marching for justice across the country in the wake of the recent killings.
We also acknowledge our past and our present participation in white supremacy and are committed to stopping, learning, growing and living our values through the hard and uncomfortable work of progress. As we mourn, we are also forced to take a look at ourselves and to reckon with change. As a critical, and oftentimes the only, source of health care for many throughout central and southeastern Virginia, VLPP’s priority is and will always be to care for people no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. No matter what.
There are two health crises crippling our nation--white supremacy and a global pandemic. And just as the City of Richmond attempts to shake its confederate ashes, we must confront the abhorrent racial health disparities in our own backyard--Black maternal mortality, COVID-19 infection, and an entirely separate and unequal justice system premised on anti-blackness. We also know that there can be no health equity or reproductive justice without racial justice.
Black Lives Matter. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery’s lives Matter. May their memories be a blessing and may we all be held accountable for the promises we make in our grief.
We encourage you to make space for healing and give however you are able of your time and energy. You cannot pour from an empty cup, and your energy is invaluable to the marathon ahead of us.
To that end, we want to share a list of Black-led organizations that are leading activism and supporting protesters right now.
Minneapolis (center of justice for George Floyd protests): Minnesota Freedom Fund