ASWAD extends its condolences to the families of those massacred at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17, 2015 in a criminal act of domestic terrorism. We share in the pain of all who are suffering, but also in the outrage that anti-black violence continues to erupt in societies that continue to cling to the ideologies of racial supremacy, inequality, and ignorance that constituted the very foundations on which they were built. We condemn the institutions and policies that sanction that violence. We recognize that the suffering of the city of Charleston is not isolated. On the same day as the shooting, the Dominican Republic imposed a deadline on hundreds of thousands of Dominicans alleged to be of Haitian origin, threatening them with deportation in a climate reminiscent of the country’s 1937 massacre of Haitian-Dominicans. And violence to black bodies, mind, and spirit continues around the world. ASWAD exists in recognition of the interconnectedness of African peoples, a collective spirit which has been critical to our struggle. We cannot, and will not, allow each other to stand alone. We will take up this issue at our Charleston conference, and we encourage you to respond both personally and collectively as we continue the work of those who came before us and make a safer world for the coming generations to live and flourish.
ASWAD plans to take a collection at the conference to present as a collective donation to the Mother Emanuel AME Church fund for the families of the shooting victims. For those who will not be able to participate at that time, donations may be made at any time to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund established by the City of Charleston: http://www.charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?NID=1330