A Choice to Transition
Last Friday, I departed from Campaign Zero.
I take my duty to each of you incredibly seriously. My platform is a privilege. With it comes great responsibility to be transparent about my choice.
I worked privately to allow the team time to provide public clarity, but without it, I must provide that clarity today. I believe there is tremendous value in Campaign Zero’s past work and the things it sought to accomplish. I have since found out that there is much I did not know, and much in which I was not included. For our people and the communities with whom we work, transparent collaboration is key.
Fair questions have now been raised about the analysis underlying the #8cantwait initiative. I have listened to the frustrations regarding the rollout generally and the questions raised about the data analysis specifically. My experience is not in data science and these concerns were new to me — but given what I have now become aware of, I chose to resign and to focus on other important work, for and with our most marginalized communities.
I owe each of you more than what I gave you in this moment. I care deeply for our community — for our people. I take responsibility and apologize for having shared and posted its latest initiative. I will continually work to do better.
Listening is part of every movement, and I believe our community must explore the questions that have been raised about #8cantwait while keeping focused on moving forward together. I hope and trust that Campaign Zero will address these questions honestly. These questions deserve attention.
I have love for my former fellow co-founders and honor their intentions. I believe deeply in grace and restoration. I hope and trust that Campaign Zero too will work to make this right.
Integrity is my most highly regarded personal value. It is because I value integrity that I must take responsibility and clarify the events of this past week. I am committed to learning in public, because with a microphone this loud I have to share what I now know.
This moment is challenging because I also hold a principle — and work incredibly hard — not to bring potential distractions to the movement into the public square. This is a critical moment: Black people are closer to winning than we’ve ever been and we can’t afford derailment or confusion. We have to stay on mission, and because of the historic significance of the moment in which we live, and calls I have heard for clarity, I am providing just that.
We owe it to ourselves — and I owe it to you — to honor the radical imagination of this moment. I come from a people that could not see the freedom they imagined — but they still fought for it. So must we.
Every phone call, text, email and DM I’ve received that has helped me see what I could not is a gift to me. Everyone who answered my calls, texts, emails and DMs are gifts to me. I am grateful for the candor and honesty of friends and colleagues from all corners of the organizing space who thought enough of the importance of this moment, me, and my aspirations for our community to speak to me and tell me their truth.
Most importantly, we are still in the heat of battle. In the midst of movement work, the work we do and the people we do it with may change, but the focus does not: Justice.
Divestment from the institution of policing — and reinvestment in Black communities — is the necessary central strategy of this moment. Putting people first is not radical, it is right. Investing in people means investing in the programs and structures that keep us safe and well — without violence.
What may have applied in 2014 is not necessarily relevant for the transformation we are precipitating today. America is at a tipping point because of the immense physical, spiritual and psychological sacrifices of the protestors in this righteous rebellion, and the organizers, researchers, thinkers, artists, faith leaders, athletes and young people who primed America for uprising over the last six years, and over the last six generations. People have sacrificed their very lives to place responsibility directly on our system not simply to reduce harm, but to fully transform. The time is now. We can’t wait. And we are so close to winning.
My title may change, but my commitment does not. It never will. I hope you will join me as I am led by and partner with the activists, organizers and scholars who are my leaders. We remain in the heat of battle, and I pray you will continue down the journey with me to fight this fight. I was raised to love Black people and to be obsessed with justice for everyone who deserves it. No matter my platform, this is the only life I know, and the only life I want.
I will continue to listen and further align my learning, my platforms, my resources and my partnership around the true transformation of all systems, not just policing.
The government derives its “just power from the consent of the governed.” If the power is not just, we withdraw our consent.
I’m not running away. I’m standing firm and remaining focused on our common purpose. I hope you will join me in continuing to align around the transformative processes shown by the work of the following campaigns, issues and organizations below, run by friends and strangers who I deeply respect and admire.
In love and solidarity,
National Black Justice Coalition
Police violence against queer & trans communities
Police violence against people who are disabled
Police Violence in indigenous communities