20th Annual Diversity Symposium

Statement from Dr. Melina Abdullah and SpeakOut

Statements regarding the Diversity Symposium Keynote

SpeakOut’s official statement: 

For 30 years, SpeakOut has represented visionary activists, scholars, and changemakers who have been at the forefront of the struggles for social justice, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender equality, disability justice, religious freedom, among others. 

Our staff and speakers are working together to transform society so that true equity and justice for all are not just words but a lived reality. While there may be different political frameworks and strategies, and we may represent a range of communities, we are united in uplifting the voices of those most marginalized by power structures dominated by white supremacy, homophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and their ilk. There is no place in our organization for anyone who holds these views. 

Statement by Dr. Abdullah: 

“As a Black-Muslim-woman, who is an original member and core organizer with Black Lives Matter, radical white-supremacist forces often target me, making both physical threats and engaging in discreditation and disinformation. Those who are committed to racial and social justice should consider what side they stand on and challenge sources of such nefarious attempts to derail Black freedom struggle, and my work, in particular. I am not going to be forced to justify my existence or answer obviously false allegations. That’s their work.”