The demands of recent protests against police violence and systemic racism are not new. The same calls for basic dignity, equal rights, and equitable treatment in all facets of society have been made for centuries.
During Global Goal: Unite for Our Future — The Concert on Saturday, activists and actors discussed the history of this movement and their hopes for the future.
Actor Kerry Washington talked about the relentless nature of systemic racism.
“Racism has been intertwined in our system for centuries,” she said during the broadcast. “Structurally targeting people of color, Black people, my people.”
“And it has worked to not only hold us back but to claim too many of our lives for centuries,” she added. “Like most parents, my parents dreamt of and worked toward a brighter future for me — their parents did the same for them, I am doing the same for my family. But as a global community, we must now all work together to build a better world for all children everywhere.”
Washington called on Global Citizens to seize the current momentum and work to enact broad, sweeping, structural changes throughout the world. She then introduced Opal Tometi, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
Tometi has seen the movement for racial justice grow and gain power in recent years, but she also is keenly aware of how little progress has been made due to systems plagued with entrenched white supremacist systems.
The way COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black people has only highlighted this harsh reality. The Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign calls on world leaders to address these disparities by committing the billions of dollars needed to make sure that COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines are available to everyone, everywhere.
“We can’t afford to behave naively and believe the idea that resources will trickle down to Black communities,” Tometi said. “Instead, we must focus on ensuring that testing and access to quality health care is available to everyone.”
Later in the broadcast, actor Billy Porter expressed his gratitude for civil rights leaders.
“From Miss Rosa Parks to Malcom to Martin,” he said, “as well as transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson, who boldly stood on the front lines at Stonewall in 1969 — I’ll forever be grateful to those who fought for us to be where we are today.”
“And it’s up to us to keep on fighting,” he added. “And now, during the summer of 2020, young activists have flooded the streets around the globe to continue fighting for justice, for black people, for the LGBTQIA community. The world is changing right before our eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Earlier in the day, Global Goal: Unite for Our Future —The Summit brought together world leaders, activists, and philanthropists for a pledging event that mobilized more than $1.5 billion in grants and $5.4 billion in loans for a total of more than $6.9 billion pledged to support COVID-19 relief. The commitments will help to provide equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, as well as support for the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities.
You can join the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign by taking action here to help ensure everyone, everywhere can access the tools that are vital to putting an end to COVID-19, and mitigate its impacts on the world's most vulnerable people.
You can find out more about COVID-19, what's needed to tackle it, and how it's impacting the lives of people around the world, through our COVID-19 coverage here.