Our power comes from survivor-led movements

CFF Director Aleyamma Mathew marches with Planned Parenthood at the New York City Pride Parade. Planned Parenthood was the first contingent of the parade this year following the Supreme Court overturning the 50-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade case ending the protection of federal abortions. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/ Getty Images)

To our friends and supporters,

Collective Future Fund joins our community in grief and rage over the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. Criminalizing abortion only widens the net that is used to enact violence against women and gender expansive people of color in this country, and this decision will be catastrophic for survivors.

It also comes on the heels of a month filled with horrific violence: Buffalo, Uvalde, organized right-wing attacks on Pride events, the passage of transphobic legislation, rampant misogyny in the Depp-Heard trial, and more.

We are angry. We are mourning. But we are not resigned.

These attacks are the expected backlash to the power that survivor-led movements have demonstrated. They are meant to demoralize and immobilize us. But just like those came before us, survivors are prepared for this moment. They are creating and leading movements rooted in community care, providing us with a pathway to a better future. Now, philanthropy must resource survivor-led movements at the level they deserve and require.

We cannot disconnect the ruling that overturned Roe from the dismantling of the democratic process, mass shootings, ending the Child Tax Credit and unemployment benefits, increased police budgets, or the January 6th insurrection. Multiple systems are working together to oppress women and gender expansive people of color, seeking to prevent a future of safety, abundance, and liberation for everyone. If we hope to meaningfully address the multiple and severe crises this country is facing, philanthropic institutions must contend with white supremacy and heteropatriarchy as our true antagonists.

That means de-centering narratives that depict survivor-leaders as marginal and instead recognizing them as central to every social movement. It means following the wisdom of those who have been deeply in the work of building power for freedom: survivors of gendered, sexualized, and racialized violence, who know all too well what it means to have their lives subjected to the will of those in traditional authority roles.

We at Collective Future Fund are committed to doing this work. We will continue to invest in survivors because we know that a future free from violence can only be achieved through the power of those who are transforming experiences and legacies of trauma into collective action.

We hope that you will join us.

In solidarity,

Aleyamma Mathew

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