A Historic Inauguration in a Historic Crisis

When Vice-President Kamala Harris took her oath of office, we witnessed many historic firsts: the first woman, the first woman of color, the first HBCU graduate, and the first member of a Divine Nine organization to hold our Nation’s second-highest office. These historic firsts were largely made possible by the Black and brown voters who did their part to seek reform for our governing institutions to build a more robust and just democracy.

Intertwined in this historical moment is the ever-present reminder that our collective narrative is historically and systemically hindered by white supremacy — and, at its core, begins with voting rights. Recent events have taught us that this is an institutional problem, not just a problem based on a historical Civil Rights narrative. As an organization, we are developing an understanding of our shared narrative in the Black community and communities of color concerning the impact of building independent Black political power and the backlash it receives. We must develop a resistance to that backlash where organizations like NC Black Alliance and Advance North Carolina can build a foundation for offensive strategy alongside the community and our Black elected officials.

Our response will continue to focus on policy issues that prioritize economic justice and create a more robust infrastructure in rural and urban Black communities.

While the newly elected leadership prepares to move into guaranteed long-term housing at the working-class taxpayer’s expense, our communities still face evictions with temporary and unstable federal and state moratoriums in place. This injustice continues to perpetuate the duality of two Americas— similar to the different treatment we receive at the hands of police, where rioters were allowed to lead a violent insurrection at the Capitol months after peaceful protesters were teargassed for challenging racism in the same location. However, we remain committed to working with the “Need A Home to Stay at Home” Statewide Housing Network by joining them in holding the line against evictions across the country happening on Inauguration Day.

We look forward to the hope the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that far more work is needed to dismantle racism and systematic oppression in our communities if we are to unite as one Nation committed to democracy and justice.

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