What Does it Mean to be 50?
..Let the past teach you. Past customs, struggles, leaders and thinkers. Let these help you. Let them inspire you, warn you, give you strength. But beware…What was cannot come again. To survive, know the past, let it touch you, then let the past go.
– Octavia Butler, Earthseed
A half-century ago Resist came into being. On the heel of the Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority and in the midst of the anti-war in Vietnam movement, our small organization set out to make a big impact by making resources available to groups who were too new, too small, or too radical for other foundations.
Because the work for justice and liberation spans generations, being 50 means that we've been around to see the world and movements for change transform. From the anti-war and civil rights movements, to student and farm-worker organizing, to the fight for black lives – we learn from, are inspired by, and draw strength from the frontlines.
The lessons we've learned have informed our shape throughout the years and with the wisdom of age comes transformation. In our 50th year we're committed: to harnessing the wisdom of frontline communities, challenging the top-down philanthropic model, being a more accountable foundation, and supporting more of the groups that lead us through challenging times.
Resist has found that the movement for justice and liberation is made up of many different moving parts. We need resisters more than ever – those bold and brave enough to push back against systemic oppression. We need reimaginers – our visionaries who see the world as it should be and create the alternatives. And to sustain us for the life-long work of getting free, we need resilience-builders – those who help us become whole as we walk down the winding path of change.
We've heard the call, like in 1967, and responded.
The past has taught us, helped us, and inspired us to be a foundation that is responsive to the needs of the movement and accountable to the brave organizers who do the work of liberation every day. We're calling on you to join us on the path to 2067 by considering your legacy of resistance. Here's to 50 more years of resisting and rebuilding.