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Happy Women’s Empowerment Month! Officially declared National Women’s History Month by the US Congress in 1987, March is a time for celebrating women’s achievements and discussing social problems that disproportionately impact women and girls in schools, community-based organizations, the workplace and cultural institutions. Of course, these celebrations and discussions should continue throughout the year and include community members from diverse genders, racial backgrounds, economic circumstances and sexualities. Every women’s issue—for example reproductive freedom and wage equality—also impacts men and boys. Problems such as gun violence and school segregation also have life shortening consequences for women and girls although they are not often described as feminist concerns.
According to the National Women’s History Project, this year’s theme is “Imagination Through Innovation.” This month, contributing bloggers will highlight how Black women artists and activists creatively imagine solutions to problems facing women of color in the US and abroad. Whether starting Maroon communities in 19th century Jamaica or creating groundbreaking paintings today, the rich tradition of Black women’s resistance to racial discrimination, gender exclusion and other forms of oppression encourages us to bring all of ourselves in order to envision and build a more just society.
Of course, we all don’t need to be a dynamo like Florynce Kennedy to help solve problems in our communities. The everyday discussions we have with our families, circles of friends, classmates and colleagues (in person or online) are often where we imagine the changes that can address our concerns about issues that are impacting the women we care about. The next steps are considering which people, organizations or institutions can provide the resources necessary to create that change and how our communities can work together to advocate for it.
I’d love to know what changes you would like to see for Black women in your community. Also, how is your school, nonprofit or place of worship celebrating Women’s Empowerment Month?
Yours in Solidarity,