Welcome to Diverge

Subscribe to DIVERGE.

Author: Aleena Gardezi

Women of Color Leaders Unite to Declare Resolve After Election

Posted November 14, 2016

An open letter from a 100 women of color leaders to the nation was published on our100.org. The letter asked for a pledge to declare resolve and “open a new chapter in our country’s long, difficult journey towards the promise of liberty and justice for all.”

Members include Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter, co-founder Charlene Carruthers, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), Eveline Shen, Forward Together, Jodeen Olguín-Tayler Demos/Movement Strategy Center/Mijente, Linda Sarsour, MyMuslimVote /MPower Change and many others .

“Women did this work, not to get one woman a new job, but because we understood the stakes in this election,” the letter stated. “Black lives, women’s lives, immigrant’s lives, the lives of LGBTQ folks, of people with disabilities; of working people of every race, region and ethnicity, including those at Standing Rock and others protecting our land.”

You can read the complete letter here. 

The pledge states:

 “My work will not end at the ballot box. In the #First100Hours and #First100days, I will stand with women of color leadership. I will stand with women who are leading solutions that support a vision for Black lives, an end to violence against women and girls, power to make decisions about our bodies, health and reproduction, common sense immigration reform and an end to Islamophobia. I pledge to take action to pursue a democracy and economy where we all have an equal say, and an equal chance.”

So when did this all begin? DIVERGE talked to Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, the founder of #our100.

Background: This work builds on the #GOPHandsOffMe protests in October  that put tens of thousands of women of color and survivors in the streets as a response to the #TrumpTapes. A broader group of women supported these videos by making calls to action in the Women’s call to action video series. These events garnered national media attention in more than 20 cities across the country, as well as internationally. In the week leading up to the election, leaders from Demos, Forward Together, Black Lives Matter and the National Domestic Workers Alliance led a collaborative effort to raise the national profile of women-led organizing in the election and beyond. All of this work and more is what resulted in the #our100 pledge (at www.our100.org) and the national wave of #our100 actions. 

Who initiated this idea and why? 

I initiated the #our100 project, because I’ve had the great honor of working with so many of the women leaders who signed this letter. I’ve seen how powerful their voices are, and the power, strength and vision of their work. Because it is we who live at so many intersections of inequality, women of color have the vision to generate real solutions.  The liderazgo de las mujeres es clave para rescatar a nuestras comunidades de la desigualdad económica.

Which means, that the leadership of women of color is essential in the pursuit of ending social, racial and economic inequality. This country needs our leadership to be able to fulfill the founding promise of this nation, that we may one day become a country where all can live with dignity, freedom, and justice. Women’s leadership– women of color’s leadership, and Black women’s and Native American’s leadership in particular, are key to reclaiming our communities, and this entire country, from gross economic inequality rooted in systemic racism and violence. This country needs us to move forward. This country won’t be all right until women are all right. Women will be all right when women of color are all right. Women of color will be all right when Black women are all right.

How did you get all these women to contribute so quickly? Why is this important?

This was able to happen so quickly because our work did not start with this election. We’ve been organizing and mobilizing communities for decades. We are well networked, as sister-friends. This fact, our power to move quickly, with agility, resolve and unity, makes it all the more devastating that — although we were leading huge voter education and mobilization effort — the amount of political donations and support given to women-led and community based electoral programs is abysmal. The political donors, and Democratic donors who waste hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads, and out-of-state election consultants, that are often white-led and led by men — they need to take a look at their tactics and realize their deep failure. Had more resources been invested in local, women of color leadership, we would not have this racist, misogynist, sexual predator as our President elect.

What have you done and what do you aim to do in the next 100 hours?

We’ve already had actions in more than 370 cities across the country. These are not just protests. These are community events where we are taking to the streets to stand together, and where we show our resolve to stand together to protect our communities from deportation, attacks on Muslims, to say no to the anti-women hate of this President elect — and to declare our resolve to move forward.

I say that these actions are not just protest because they are actions where people our putting out a vision. And, we are making a pledge to stand together. More than 150K people, in no less than 48 hours have taken the pledge on the www.our100.org. That is a pledge to take action — to put our bodies in the streets, our feet at the doors of elected official, our hearts open to eachother — to advance our agenda that is pro-women, pro-immigrant and includes a vision for Black lives, and an end to Islamaphobia, and an end to Rape Culture.

What events do you hope to host?

In collaboration with the #our100 leaders and their organizations, we’ve already held more than 370 actions across the country. We are demonstrating to the racist sexual predator who is the President elect, and to the GOP that created this monster, that our work did not start, nor will it end, at the ballot box.