|On Wednesday, January 6, our nation watched in horror as our democracy came under attack in an unlawful and violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol. As AAUW’s National office is based in Washington, D.C., the personal safety of our staff and their families was at risk as armed insurgents took to the streets calling for violence toward our elected officials and the overthrow of a free and fair election.
The mob used hateful language and displayed symbols of white supremacy as they forced their way into the hallowed halls of Congress. We mourn the loss of the five individuals killed in the attack, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, and the many others hurt.
As scary and shocking as this was, it was sadly not surprising given the incendiary speech the President gave to the rioters prior to the attack and the divisive tone he has set for years. From calling the racist protestors in Charlottesville “very fine people” to telling the Proud Boys to “stand by” in a presidential debate, President Trump has given us many warning signs.
AAUW is proud to join in solidarity with leading gender justice and equity organizations in a statement demanding that President Trump and his enablers be held accountable for their actions. We hope this unified message will inspire those in power to action. If you feel comfortable contacting your elected officials, we encourage you to do so.
And, as we collectively work to understand the roots of our nation’s divisions, we ask you to actively engage in efforts to defeat white supremacy: Please review our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion toolkit and plan to attend our town hall webinar on Tuesday, January 19 at 4 p.m. ET with AAUW Board Chair Julia Brown and the Racial and Social Justice Working Group.
As AAUW members, we all embrace our vision of equity for all, and we hold our values close to our hearts and minds. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to ensure your AAUW staff are safe in this uncertain time.