The board of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois (SILC) feels compelled to speak out against the racial injustice and oppression occurring both within the state of Illinois and nationally. We must all do our part to end systemic racism. We stand together with all advocacy organizations in Illinois and across the nation to demand that police brutality and white supremacy must stop. The lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, and Eric Garner mattered. The latest victim, Jacob Blake’s life matters. So did the lives of Daniel Prude, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Elijah McClain, LaQuan McDonald, and Stephon Watts, who were Black people with disabilities that were killed because of systemic racism and police brutality. We must say their names. These are just a few of the stories that have been made public, but we know that there are countless other stories that have gone untold.
We recognize that persons with disabilities are ethnically and culturally diverse and face additional barriers because of these differences. Racial justice is just as important as disability justice. The Civil Rights Movement helped spur the Disability Rights Movement. Many in the Civil Rights Movement actively helped to usher in disability rights. We are committed to standing against racism and supporting individuals and groups seeking to bring about racial equality in our communities throughout Illinois.
We, the SILC of Illinois, will proactively take steps to address our own implicit biases so that we can successfully support centers for independent living and the consumers that they serve that are part of marginalized communities.
We, the SILC of Illinois affirm:
Our commitment and intent to stand with and support the fight to end racism, ableism, and all forms of oppression.
We will work in partnership to empower and support people with disabilities in communities of color and all marginalized communities.
We will actively work to include the voices of diverse people of color in our work to advocate and support people with disabilities to lead independent lives.
Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois