A message from Yasmin, CEO of Juno Women’s Aid.
This is a very personal message, but I felt I had to say something and a prompt from a dear and valued member of Juno has given me courage today.
Lockdown has been a painful time for us all as we have watched the daily news and the ever-rising number of deaths and families left heartbroken at their loss. And then there is the reality of women’s lives and the lives of Black and minority people here and across the world.
I have been an anti-racist and feminist activist for as long as I can remember and these past few days I have found myself wondering what my life would have been like without racism and misogyny.
Black women and men are grieving ongoing injustice, inequality, and discrimination across the world in response to the murder of George Floyd and 32 women have died since lockdown began in the UK. How many times have we been here and how many times more?
Juno is a diverse and wonderful family of women from many backgrounds. Many of us and many more will be struggling with the images we are seeing on our TV screens, triggering memories of our own experiences and knowing that the generations of our family to come will also endure the pain we have suffered until change comes.
When the lockdown lifts and we can be together again, I would like us to come together as sisters and share our pain, our warmth and to simply listen, acknowledge and hold each other in solidarity and sisterhood.
I am relying on the words of those much better at expressing this than I am so will end with this quote from one of my favourite writers, Ben Okri who always finds a way to inspire me to move forward:
‘The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and be greater than our suffering.’ Ben Okri.
Get involved and support the Black Lives Matter protests, even if you can’t attend them. Understand more about the movement here. This link contains multiple petitions, go fund me pages and resources to help and understand racism and privilege. Learn how you can support black businesses here.