Members of Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) were invited to form a committee to draft a new statement regarding the #blacklivesmatter issue. The committee was formed after comments that some members felt the Board's original statement did not go far enough in addressing the issue. A small group of concerned members crafted the statement below, and the National Board felt it was important to publicly share the work done by this committee.
In order to allow the membership of CoG a chance to have input on this new statement, it was released internally on our organization's e-mail list last week. The membership will have the opportunity to review, revise, and adopt it as a statement made by the entire organization at the annual meeting in August 2015.
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Black Lives Matter to the Covenant of the Goddess and this statement represents our effort to hear, see, and say this. CoG is appalled at the mistreatment and killings of Black Americans and others in extrajudicial actions, such as Eric Garner and 7 year-old Ayana Jones. Systemic racism in our justice system and an unmet need to see, hear, and respond to the experiences of People of Color in our country are resulting in non-indictments for even excessive use of force. For such males as Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown; women like Rekia Boyd, Shereese Francis, and Yvette Smith; and children like Tamir Rice, though their lives were lost their lives matter to us. These few represent the many other Black men, women and children who face and fear similar violence and outcomes everyday.
It is time to hear what Blacks are saying: that they are not treated the same as the majority. Blacks deserve due process under the law which everyone else takes for granted. Law enforcement officers who breach the public trust must be held accountable. More effective communication between communities of color and every part of our justice system is long overdue and necessary for real changes to manifest.
Witches and Wiccans of Color specifically deserve, and have, our support and respect, as CoG's members are Witches and Wiccans of every race, into whose purview fall issues of human justice. We are weavers of change and can choose a role in changing the experiences of People of Color in our communities and our country.
CoG urges our members and communities to take action. Ask People of Color about their experiences. Listen fully to what is being said. Write letters to elected officials, local law enforcement, state and US attorneys, and editors of local media to share your concerns. Stand in solidarity with CoG's Members of Color and our communities' Pagans of Color in peaceful demonstrations to end these inequities. At the same time, we decry actions which only serve further racism and injustice for anyone.
We all need to "Step up" to speak for the need for change, then "Step back" to hear Black and minority voices. Each person must follow her or his own heart in order for our society to peacefully evolve and right these wrongs.
One of the most powerful ways to help is to be informed. Below are a few links where you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of these issues, the challenges faced by those living Black in America, and discover creative ways to support the movement.
http://thisisthemovement.launchrock.com - weekly newsletter
CoG supports efforts to speak out for social justice, and we say, “Black Lives Matter."