Tina Tchen, President and CEO, TIME'S UP Foundation

This is all of our fight


George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Art by Nikkolas Smith (https://www.instagram.com/nikkolas_smith/)

Once again, we are confronted by the devastating racism and discrimination that endangers and chips away at Black lives every single day in this country.

We at TIME’S UP are horrified and devastated by the killing of George Floyd. We stand in solidarity with all those who are bravely standing up and speaking out against this grave injustice.

But we also know that George Floyd’s murder is tragically not an aberration. His name is only the latest in a long list of Black men and women who were killed by state-sanctioned racialized violence. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, and many more others whose names we will never know — behind each name is a life tragically cut short, a family forever grieving, and a community left angry and demanding accountability. 

I want to make one point very clear today. And that is the fight to end systemic racism and racial violence in this country is all of our fight. 

TIME’S UP’s mission is to build a world where everyone feels safe and respected at work. But we recognize that the reality is, Black Americans are not safe at work, in our streets — or even in their own homes, as we tragically saw in the case of Breonna Taylor. 

We recognize that the threats that our Black colleagues and friends face when they walk out the door are unimaginable to most non-Black Americans. 

We recognize that the problem of white supremacy will only be solved when white people speak up about injustice and become critical of their own white privilege. And when non-Black people of color band together in solidarity with the Black community and fight for equality and justice for all. 

We recognize that all of this is unfolding amid a pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black and Brown people because of vast racial inequities in how we care for people in this country.

We recognize that the movement against sexual assault in this country was started by Black women, and yet Black women have been continually and systemically sidelined in mainstream feminist movements.

TIME’S UP owes an enormous debt to the Black women who started our movement and continue to blaze the trail. From Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking investigations into sexual assault cases, to Eleanor Holmes Norton’s leadership as the first woman chair of the EEOC, to Tarana Burke declaring “me too” over 10 years ago: Black women have been and continue to lead this fight. 

TIME’S UP is proud to follow in the footsteps of Black women and we strive every day to pursue an anti-racist strategy in all of the work that we do. We may not always get it right, but I can promise you that we will always try to do better.

Because sexual assault is fundamentally about an abuse of power. So too is racial violence. Only when we dismantle the entwined power structures of patriarchy and white supremacy will every person be able to live safely, free from the fear of violence, and with the true opportunity to reach their full potential.

The fight to end systemic racism and racial violence in this country is all of our fight. This requires the unwavering commitment of every one of us to constantly look inward to question our own limitations and privilege, and project outward to fight for justice and equality.

The road ahead is daunting, but we are walking it together.

Tina Tchen is President and CEO of the TIME’S UP Foundation.