On Monday afternoon, police officers shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace, Jr., in a West Philadelphia neighborhood. Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA has issued the following statement in response to Mr. Wallace’s death.
Our communities are hurting across the country from Minneapolis, Louisville to Philadelphia, how many more days and nights must we mourn the loss of Black Lives at the hands of police violence? When will we stop issuing statements that have become normal courses of response, and not enough action to end these violent acts against communities of color?
The murder of Walter Wallace – in front of his loved ones – shatters our hearts yet again in so many ways. Mr. Wallace was a Black man in crisis, and a son, father, husband, brother, and neighbor—one of our beloved ones befallen by senseless violence. When will we honor each other’s humanity? When can we once again celebrate the glory of our personhood and the sanctity of life?
In the days ahead, we expect full transparency and a thorough investigation into the events that led to Mr. Wallace’s death, and that we bring those accountable to justice.
At YWCA, we believe that legislation, policies, and standards of conduct should be enacted and enforced to end police violence, use of force, and abuse of people of color and increased accountability and transparency through independent investigation, training, and data collection.
We encourage you to join and stand with us as we work to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. You can also take action now by:
- Learning about racial justice, become an advocate for change, and invite others to join you by taking our Until Justice Just Is pledge.
- Visit our Action Center to join us in taking action on our 2019-2020 legislative priorities.
- Learn more about our policy and advocacy agenda.
- Donate to support Walter Wallace’s family.
- Donate to support the racial justice work of a YWCA in the Philadelphia area.
YWCA is committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal protection under the law. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities (but not others) that lead to criminalization and often the death of people of color.
At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and dignity. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, and until justice, just is.
About YWCA USA
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.