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Freedom Inc Statement on Quadren Wilson and Arieuna Reed

Dear Community,

In the past month Wisconsin has seen at least 3 black lives damaged or lost by patriarchal violence, state violence and white supremacy.

On Wednesday, January 26th, Kenyairra Gadson, a Black queer woman was found guilty of 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide for defending herself against her attackers. On February 3rd, Quadren L. Wilson was shot in the back at least 5 times by state of Wisconsin police. In Milwaukee on February 5th, 23 year old Arieuna Reed was murdered during a domestic dispute with her partner.

We grieve for black women who are not protected by police but are villainized and incarcerated by the criminal justice system. We are angry that we continue to witness black bodies being shot at by police who see a weapon that doesn’t even exist. We mourn the lives lost to domestic and intimate partner violence.

We know that the ongoing objectification, pain, suffering and oppression of our people is facilitated by Madison’s $84M police budget. As long as the city continues to invest in a white supremacist institutions- instead of investing improving our lives- our people will struggle through poverty, homelessness, untreated mental illness, and other social ills. This is why Freedom, Inc. continues to demand that Madison and Dane County leadership stop using the police and jails to destroy our families and, instead, invest in the holistic well-being of Black communities.

As advocates who work with victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence, we know that ending police violence alone is not enough to get us free. We must address all of the ways our women, queer folx, and youth are harmed. We bring the same energy to protecting our most vulnerable from intra-communal violence as we do to ending violence perpetrated by the police. It is all serious, and urgent, and deserving of our collective action.

As such, Freedom, Inc. is building a movement that values Black women, queer folx and our youth in our fight against patriachy and white supremacy when it shows up in our streets, our schools and even in our homes. A movement that asserts the right of Black women to defend themselves from abuse and builds political power for the victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence. A movement fighting for Community Control over the forces that impact our lives. To the members of our community: we invite you to join our movement for liberation.

Love & Power,
Freedom, Inc.