#SolidarityIs, a campaign coordinated by CSI Senior Fellow Deepa Iyer and Laura Li, released a statement on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Maya Wiley and Jocelyn Sargent co-founded CSI in the aftermath of 9/11. At the time, the U.S. federal government made $20 billion available to support rebuilding from the attacks, but the bulk of this money targeted two relatively wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan. What of the other communities, particularly communities of color, devastated by the attacks? What of the communities, particularly Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities that suffered hate violence, state surveillance, and deportations as a result?
This pattern of disinvestment and violence–both interpersonal and structural–against communities of color catalyzed the work of CSI. Today, we stand in solidarity with communities who are still suffering in the aftermath of 9/11.
#SolidarityIs on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11
The 15th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is more than a historic marker for our organizations and communities.
It is an anniversary that calls to mind the memories of over three thousand people who lost their lives in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. It is an anniversary that reminds us of the ongoing backlash targeting Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities in the form of hate violence, schoolyard bullying, airport profiling, workplace bias, obstructions to the construction of mosques, government surveillance of routine activities, misleading media narratives and divisive political rhetoric, and the detentions and deportations of thousands of people under the guise of national security. And, it is an anniversary that calls us to action in the spirit of the #SolidarityIs campaign, which identifies shared points of unity, amplifies ongoing solidarity practices, creates a learning space for inquiry and exploration, and encourages transformative actions of multiracial and cross-community solidarity.
For us, #SolidarityIs is not merely a phrase or slogan, but an active embodiment of the struggle and promise of racial justice and equity. That is why, on this 15th anniversary of 9/11, our organizations pledge to:
*Connect the injustices affecting Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities with the historic and ongoing structural and systemic inequities faced by indigenous, Latinx and Black communities.
*Analyze policies implemented in the name of national security through the lens of justice and equity, and articulate clearly our stances against criminalization, surveillance, and profiling of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities by government agencies.
*Include and center meaningfully the voices and perspectives of Muslim, South Asian and Arab communities in racial justice campaigns and efforts. In particular, we pledge to highlight how multiple layers of identity, including but not limited to, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, and immigration status, can lead to even greater inequity and discrimination in the lives of Muslim, South Asian and Arab communities.
*Support the vision of the Movement for Black Lives, and commit to addressing anti-Black racism within our communities.
*Speak up against intolerance and bigotry targeting Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians in media narratives and political discourse.
*Disrupt narratives that pit our communities against each other to advance false economic or political gain
On this significant anniversary, our organizations rededicate ourselves to changing the national climate of backlash and bigotry that affects Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities through our words, actions, policy stances and campaigns. We also encourage national and local conversations and actions that bring a solidarity framework to lifting up, understanding, and supporting communities directly affected by the post 9/11 climate. Visit our website at www.solidarityis.org for resources and ideas, and join the #SolidarityIs community.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice- Asian Law Caucus
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Social Inclusion
National Network for Arab American Communities
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
The Gathering for Justice/Justice League NYC
The Sikh Coalition
United We Dream