Dear philanthropy colleagues, peers, and friends,
Today is a day to celebrate one woman’s intellect, integrity, and indefatigable pursuit of justice and equity – in the courtroom, in our communities, and across our democracy. Born as a citizen of this nation – a nation of laws and not of men – the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson will don the robe of an Associate Justice and become the first Black woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the first justice to have served as a public defender.
Today, with the Senate’s confirmation of Justice Jackson, I am heartened by witnessing a supremely qualified Black woman ascend to this country’s highest court. Justice Jackson has honored this nation with nearly two decades of public service – including not only her years as a public defender, but also three judicial clerkships, two stints with the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and nearly a decade as a federal judge. I am heartened by the new dreams and ambitions of Black girls and young women in the U.S. and around the world who see what someone who looks like them can achieve. I am heartened that those whose voices will be heard in the Supreme Court Chamber will have an audience that includes a person with lived experience navigating racism and bias and prejudice.
And yet, my heart is heavy that it has taken our nation so long to reach this milestone, and that we have so far to go in the pursuit of equity, inclusivity, and opportunity for people of color and all who have for too long been denied equal protection under the law. That our nation is still marking “firsts” such as this one is both a travesty and a motivator. Like Associate Justice Jackson, we have a lot of work ahead of us.
In a nation founded as a republic, power flows from the people to those elected and appointed to public office. Power that is endowed to all people – no matter their race or ethnicity or gender or faith or zip code. Power to achieve a reality where anyone can achieve their dream.
In service to this power, FCCP’s incredible collective of funders and changemakers know where and how to direct needed energy and resources. We know – on this day especially – that representation matters across all levers of government power and authority.
We. Shall. Not. Rest.
In celebration and solidarity,
LaShanda A. Jackson, MBA
Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation
Funders’ Committee Action Fund