SWANA Alliance Statement on the Murder of Nia Wilson

We mourn along with the countless others who are attending community organized vigils, events and actions in Oakland, commemorating the life and passing of Nia Wilson. Nia Wilson was just 18 years old when she was murdered at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland, California. Wilson’s unjust murder reaffirms the need to center black women’s liberation struggles in all struggles and fight against the structural forces of anti-blackness and specifically, misogynoir.

Nia Wilson was the youngest of six sisters and two brothers. She loved music and hoped to pursue being a paramedic to help people and save people’s lives. Nia’s family members have consistently described her as a positive force in the lives of everyone she touched. Her light, her positivity, her care and selflessness have touched all those around her.

We express so much love and support to the family of Nia and uplift their words. Her sister, Lahtifa Wilson said “Nia’s love was the kind of love that will never fade away.” Nia’s godfather, Daryle Allums said “She was an angel.” Wilson’s family said her name means “purpose” and that her purpose on earth was to unite others and it is their wishes the world follows.These words of her loved ones stand as a testament to the kind of person Nia was and are the grounding that lead our action. Nia’s life inspires “purpose” in all of us and people all around the world.

As we mourn another Black woman whose life was taken from them by the United States white supremacist state apparatus and its vigilante affiliates, we understand Nia Wilson was murdered in an act of domestic anti-black terrorism in a larger system that targets Black women disproportionately. This act of terrorism was carried out in the wake of encroaching gentrification and the white/ bourgeois plunder of a historically Black community. Gentrification in Oakland is the focal point for the accumulation of wealth/ capital which necessitates the economic domination of the domestic black and brown working class and the economic domination of foreign markets by the U.S. capitalist class, by way of wars and military interventions. California’s tech industry is amongst the largest contributors to gentrification in Oakland, police violence, and genocidal violations of human rights against black people both at home and abroad. Gentrification and mass incarceration, are forces of violent anti-black terrorism enabled and absolved by anti-blackness, white supremacy and capitalism.

In the spirit of #SayHerName, a movement created by Black women to specifically challenge dominant narratives that victims of anti-Black violence are predominantly male by highlighting the gender-specific ways in which black women are disproportionately affected by fatal acts of racial injustice, we condemn Nia’s murder and all acts of misogynoir, anti-blackness and white supremacy.

We, SWANA Alliance, affirm the sanctity of Black life. Black women’s lives matter. Nia’s life matters. We pledge to struggle against the forces of anti-Blackness and racism within and beyond our communities.

Nia will never be forgotten. May she rest in power.


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Sophia Armen