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A Statement from MADRE’s Board of Directors on Former Board Member Natasha Bannan

MADRE learned last week of allegations that one of our board members, Natasha Bannan, has falsely presented a Latinx identity. Since then, Natasha has offered her resignation from the MADRE board, and we have accepted.

Within the reporting on her story and in the days since it emerged, members of the Latinx community have spoken out about the impacts of her choices, including worsening the drastic underrepresentation of Latinas in the legal profession and occupying leadership spaces meant for Latinx people. These impacts are inseparable from white privilege and anti-Blackness, which routinely harms and limits opportunities for Black, Afro-Latinx people and all people of color.

Natasha’s contributions to our movements are widely recognized. At the same time, as an organization committed to racial and gender justice, we cannot ignore the harms caused by her actions. We welcome a path forward in which Natasha acknowledges the impacts of her choices and engages in accountability processes with those harmed and with Latinx community members.

To achieve our vision of a world in which people enjoy the fullest range of human rights, we must confront all forms of systemic marginalization, key among them racial injustice and white supremacy. For 37 years, MADRE has partnered in solidarity with communities worldwide harmed by oppression and injustice, to support their efforts and amplify their voices and leadership. Beginning with our earliest work with grassroots women’s organizations in Latin America, we have committed to partnerships rooted in respect and trust, with an understanding that our own liberation is tied to the liberation of oppressed people everywhere.

MADRE remains committed to the work of advancing racial and gender justice and to confronting white supremacy, including the ways it manifests close to home.

January 12, 2021