Person

Carla Wallace

Occupation:

Political Activist

Founder, Fairness Campaign

Founder, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Carla Wallace is a political activist who founded the left-of-center Fairness Campaign and the far-left agitation group Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). In the beginning of her activism career, Wallace was best known for her activism on same-sex marriage and LGBT interests. In recent years, Wallace has become known for her radical, “intersectional” racial activism. [1]

Wallace became more prominent in the aftermath of the shooting of Breonna Taylor by police officers in Louisville, Kentucky. Wallace was among the activists in the Louisville area who demanded legal action, including criminal prosecution, against the police officers who shot Taylor. [2]

Early Life

Carla Wallace was born in Louisville, Kentucky and was raised in the small town of Prospect, Kentucky. Her father, Henry Wallace, was a far-left activist who protested against the Vietnam War and in support of LGBT rights. Henry Wallace was also a supporter of Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro and his government. [3] Carla also spent time in the Netherlands, her mother’s home country. [4]

The Fairness Campaign

In 1991, Carla Wallace co-founded and led the Fairness Campaign, an LGBT advocacy organization. In 1999, the group successfully convinced the then-Louisville board of aldermen to enact an ordinance that forbade discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Wallace’s campaign also included support for left-of-center racial justice and immigration policy. [5] In 2005, Wallace provided $1 million to the University of Louisville to establish the Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. [6]

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

In 2009, Wallace helped co-found the organization Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She was motivated to create the organization after a reported increase of attacks on people of color and an alleged increase in racism following President Barack Obama’s 2008 election. Wallace has claimed that the organization is designed for white people to combat racism. [7]

The organization was founded to connect white people already engaged in left-of-center activism with organizing activities led by people of color in order to allegedly combat racism and educate other white people. [8] Wallace also founded a SURJ chapter in Louisville. [9]

In 2017, Wallace called on Americans not to “normalize” the Trump administration, claiming that it threatened “civil rights, civil liberties, and core services like housing and jobs.” [10]

Activism Following the Breonna Taylor Shooting

In 2020, after the shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police, Wallace helped organize a letter signed by 2700 white women across the country that called on Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) to listen to African American women. The letter also called on Mayor Fischer to fire the police officers involved in the shooting. [11]

The letter was signed by white women from across the country, with Wallace claiming that Mayor Fischer must answer to the entire country as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. [12]

Wallace also tried to use the shooting to unsuccessfully promote a more left-wing Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate to challenge then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). [13]

References

  1.            “50 States, 50 Heroes”. 2017. The Advocate. https://www.advocate.com/advocate50/2017/5/10/50-states-50-heroes. ^
  2.   Cohen, Jessie. 2020. “‘Listen To Black Women’: White Women Call On Fischer To Fire Officers In Breonna Taylor’s Death”. WHAS. https://www.whas11.com/article/news/investigations/breonna-taylor-case/breonna-taylor-louisville-white-women-fischer-letter-listen-black-women/417-477cc0be-ee3b-4766-9054-e293b7208319.    ^
  3. McKinney, Helen. 2006. “The Radical Of Rose Island Road”. Round About. http://www.roundaboutmadison.com/InsidePages/ArchivedArticles/2006/0806Wallace.html. ^
  4. McKinney, Helen. 2006. “The Radical Of Rose Island Road”. Round About. http://www.roundaboutmadison.com/InsidePages/ArchivedArticles/2006/0806Wallace.html. ^
  5.       “50 States, 50 Heroes”. 2017. The Advocate. https://www.advocate.com/advocate50/2017/5/10/50-states-50-heroes. ^
  6. “50 States, 50 Heroes”. 2017. The Advocate. https://www.advocate.com/advocate50/2017/5/10/50-states-50-heroes. ^
  7. Crass, Chris. 2015. “Answering The Call: White People Showing Up For Racial Justice”. The Good Men Project. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/answering-the-call-white-people-showing-up-for-racial-justice-hesaid/#sthash.VCS7DzEK.dpuf. ^
  8. Crass, Chris. 2015. “Answering The Call: White People Showing Up For Racial Justice”. The Good Men Project. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/answering-the-call-white-people-showing-up-for-racial-justice-hesaid/#sthash.VCS7DzEK.dpuf. ^
  9. Crass, Chris. 2015. “Answering The Call: White People Showing Up For Racial Justice”. The Good Men Project. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/answering-the-call-white-people-showing-up-for-racial-justice-hesaid/#sthash.VCS7DzEK.dpuf. ^
  10.             Rohleder, Anna. 2017. “Growing A Culture: Carla Wallace Of Louisville SURJ”. LEO Weekly. https://www.leoweekly.com/2017/02/carla-wallace-louisville-surj/. ^
  11. Cohen, Jessie. 2020. “‘Listen To Black Women’: White Women Call On Fischer To Fire Officers In Breonna Taylor’s Death”. WHAS. https://www.whas11.com/article/news/investigations/breonna-taylor-case/breonna-taylor-louisville-white-women-fischer-letter-listen-black-women/417-477cc0be-ee3b-4766-9054-e293b7208319. ^
  12. Cohen, Jessie. 2020. “‘Listen To Black Women’: White Women Call On Fischer To Fire Officers In Breonna Taylor’s Death”. WHAS. https://www.whas11.com/article/news/investigations/breonna-taylor-case/breonna-taylor-louisville-white-women-fischer-letter-listen-black-women/417-477cc0be-ee3b-4766-9054-e293b7208319. ^
  13. Hutzler, Alexandra. 2020. “Louisville Shootings, BLM Protests Shake Up Senate Race Against Mcconnell”. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/louisville-shootings-blm-protests-shake-senate-race-against-mcconnell-1511467. ^
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