The past month has been incredibly hard and unimaginably jarring for All* Above All former staff and organizations close to All*. The decision to layoff staff during a restructure was incredibly difficult and heartbreaking and was not taken lightly. It was made holding a series of complexities and was centered on our mission and vision, our values, and our commitments to the many communities that need abortion access. We know this caused a lot of pain for our former staff and their families and resulted in a lot of questions about our values. We know there are no words that encompass the feeling like losing your job, and the fear and anxiety that set in because of it. We hold true that we have and will move forward with integrity.
All*’s leadership and Steering Committee took the allegations of anti-Blackness incredibly seriously. Although an external investigation did not find any of the allegations of anti-Black discrimination to be founded, we know very well that all of our organizations can and do harbor elements of anti-Blackness, because we live in an anti-Black system that at its core is built upon white supremacy. No one is immune. Over the past three months, we have been working with consultants, partners, and experts to examine our policies, procedures, promotions and hiring processes to update and clarify our commitment to continue working to be anti-racist. Our updated procedures and policies will be baked into our restructure.
Addressing systemic anti-Blackness goes far beyond internal policies and social media posts; it requires answering the question on how we change the material conditions of Black communities. This is why we are also examining our partnerships, who we invest in, who we lift up, who we center in the work and being crystal clear on who we are accountable to.
The loss of some of our partnerships is painful. We’ve been in dialogue with many partners, key leaders, stakeholders, friends, and mentors. We are grateful to the many who have reached out, engaged in conversation, and offered feedback, critique, continued and new partnership, and grace. As we reflect on All*’s strategies, we will be creating more ways for leaders across the movement, particularly leaders whose work is deeply rooted in communities, to co-create, provide their feedback, advice and input into our work.
Moving forward, All* Above All is:
- Focusing on hiring. The first round of roles will be posted this month; any former staff can apply for any open role. We are working with Shannon Deamer at The Deamer Group and exploring additional new partners for recruitment, hiring, and onboarding with screening for skills matching and a strong racial equity lens.
- Reflecting on our networked approach. We are reassessing how we define partnership; this includes any tables we host. We will be in touch with members at those tables with updates. We are leaning into how we create and strengthen principled, effective relationships that center BIPOC organizations. We are excited to work with and convene cross-movement experts to co-create how we experiment with new innovative policy and narrative strategies as well as re-imagine the network, deepen relationships, and move our important shared vision for abortion justice forward.
- Moving key work forward. While we are low capacity temporarily, we remain committed to our model of deep investment state partnerships as well as working with national partners and allies in Congress to move the EACH Act and Abortion Justice Act forward and ensure the progress we’ve made together to end the Hyde Amendment doesn’t falter.
We are so grateful to you all for being with us through this hard moment. We are deepening our commitment to honesty, transparency, and principled partnership and look forward to rebuilding together.
Morgan, Nourbese, Jodie, Myeong