Last night was emotional and surprising.
Many in America are mourning today; some are deeply afraid for their lives or their loved ones. Others are feeling heard in their suffering for the first time.
Finding common ground across those kinds of differences isn’t easy, but it has fundamentally transformed me personally, and EJUSA’s work, over the last decade. On our largest and oldest campaign, this bridge-building approach has put the end of the death penalty within our sights.
Still, last night, voters in Nebraska, California, and Oklahoma all passed referenda in favor of the death penalty. Those losses hit us hard. Those states have chosen a failed, broken policy when they had the chance to move towards a new dawn.
The death penalty’s demise is inevitable. We have a long list of evidence why that’s true. One night, one blip in our momentum, can’t change that.
But it can remind us that the road to justice and equity is long and hard. On the dark days, we need to cry together, so we can build the strength to keep going. Together.
And we will keep going. Today as I write this, EJUSA’s bridge-building approach is in full force in New Jersey, where we are facilitating another dialogue session between police officers and community members. These sessions have created mutual understanding around complex issues of racism, trauma, and violence. That’s where change happens – community by community, person by person. At times of such division, I am reminded that seeing the pain and humanity of each other, one person at a time, is the way we heal. This, too, gives me hope.
Thank you for being there through the ups and downs. For cheering when we rise and forging ahead with us, even when we fall. You, the members of the EJUSA family, give me hope. Please take a little hope from me in return. We’re still fighting. We’re still winning. And we’re in it together.