To Our Community and Allies,
Pride Day Equality Project, coordinators of the Eugene/Springfield Pride in Park Festival, stands in fierce support of our friends and families in the Black community. At this time of continued racial injustice and ongoing violence against Black people and the Black community the Pride Day Equality Project stands in solidarity to denounce the violence being inflicted by the police on peaceful protesters around the country and here in Eugene. Violence has been used to oppress Black individuals and the Black community since before this country’s founding and every day since – for more than 400 years. PRIDE is with you in the fight for justice and fixing our broken system, and PRIDE will work in our community to transition from the police state under which we currently survive, to a well-funded, community-based system where we can thrive.
Pride has been built by the blood, tears, hard-work, and determination of Black Trans Women. Thank you Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé DeLaverie. Were it not for their work, the modern Pride movement would not exist. The struggle of Black Trans Women has been ignored or sidelined in the LGBTQIA+ community (especially in mainstream Pride organizations) for too long, and that silence leads directly to the ongoing violence being inflicted on Black bodies. Twenty-six trans people were killed in 2019, and trans women face higher rates of houselessness and incarceration. We will be silent no longer, and we will work to better include and uplift those voices in the Eugene/Springfield area.
Since Eugene’s first Pride Festival more than thirty years ago, Eugene Pride has been asking for the support of the Eugene/Springfield community. We now ask our community to show up and support all Black people, including members of the Black LGBTQIA+ community. We encourage community members and leaders to make their voices heard; for elected officials to act now for change; for our friends and families to speak out without fear. We encourage white people to educate themselves and to show up as informed allies ready to do the work that can truly end white supremacy. We acknowledge the deep-seated nature of this hate and violence, and we understand this work will be painful, ongoing, and long-lived. However, we remain hopeful that together we can achieve “liberty and justice for all.”
There can be no Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us. We are here for those that need support, especially BIPOC members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Please reach out if we can help.
The Pride Day Equality Project Board of Directors