This apology is long overdue and that in itself has caused additional violence. As Resilience OC, we wholeheartedly apologize to Black youth, more specifically we apologize to Black young womxn, within our spaces and programs who have been harmed by anti-Black statements and actions.
Recently, young Black womxn have raised and voiced the harm and anti-Blackness that they experienced in our space, and in our collaborative spaces back in 2018. In the summer of 2018, three organizations (KRC, VietRISE, ROC) came together and launched OCYOP (OC Youth Organizing Project) and the “Power to The People” program. Although the intention of these projects was cross-cultural solidarity among youth in OC, blatant anti-Blackness prevented this collaborative intention from being realized.
Within these summer programs, young Black womxn were harmed by anti-Black actions, statements, and complicity by our organizers, facilitators, participants, and collaborative partners. We take responsibility for the manner in which anti-Blackness was dismissed and tolerated.
In an effort to use transformative justice tools to address the harm that was caused, we took too long in our processes to address the instances of anti-Blackness that took place. By failing to reject anti-Blackness as soon as it manifested in our space, we prolonged harm to the young Black womxn in our space. It is our deep regret that our personal and organizational learning is happening at the expense of two young Black womxn.
We understand that anti-Blackness is deeply rooted in our daily lives and recognize that we have not done nearly enough to dismantle systemic anti-Blackness in our work, in our movement, and in our community. We are truly sorry and we want to take the time to welcome dialogue with anyone that has been hurt by our anti-Black actions and complicity, including the young Black womxn who experienced harm and anti-Blackness in 2018.
To begin, we want to hold a public community listening session for Resilience OC to listen to Black youth in OC. While we understand if folks that were harmed may not want to participate in our accountability process or learning, we do want to take the necessary steps to have folks feel most comfortable in participating in this process. We are open to being in conversation to plan this out together and consider what additional steps need to be taken to ensure that we respect and make folks feel the most comfortable possible in this open dialogue.
We don’t expect Black youth to be burdened with the emotional labor of showing us how to move forward, but if Black youth are open to supporting us and to guiding us, we are open to that and humbly welcome that support and guidance. We understand that as an organization ending our complicity in anti-Blackness is our responsibility and something we will have to work on our own as an organization.
WE MAKE A COMMITMENT TO TAKE ACTIONABLE IMPROVEMENTS TO END OUR COMPLICITY IN ANTI-BLACKNESS.