The mass shooting this weekend in Buffalo, New York, was a horrific public lynching that once again exposes the pervasive hatred against and dehumanization of our Black communities.
For decades, Roe v. Wade has stood as one of the most powerful symbols of progress towards reproductive justice for cis-women, queer, non-binary people with uteruses, trans men, Black, Indigenous and People of Color. It has also tangibly protected lives. The draft Supreme Court opinion released last night sent a monumental shock wave to any and all who have fought for reproductive justice in this country, particularly Black women, who have been and are leaders in the frontlines.
On March 28th, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education” law, better known as the “Dont Say Gay Bill,” into law in Florida. The bill prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in primary schools, starting July 1. We are devastated by this news.
There is talk about an ambition gap between men and women running for political office. New research by the Brookings Institute says "politics is still a man's game." Women today are as unlikely as they were 20 years ago to express interest in running for office. In Massachusetts, a growing list of women is leaving the state legislature. Women now account for 30.5 percent of legislators there, down from 32 percent.
January 2022 is about the hardest January-ing January I can remember. I don't know about you. Case in point. Like many Americans, I stood in line last week for 45 minutes to get a COVID test. But it was only as I stood there, frustrated, that I realized I was waiting outside the same building where I vote.
Family leave and getting more women into elected office are chicken and egg. We can't have one without the other and yet of course the people voting on these policies are majority men. It's a bipartisan issue. We won't reach gender parity in political leadership unless women win for both sides. That means we need to change the narrative. Ask yourself: What does it mean to be political and powerful? Does your definition include being a young woman? It should.
So much has happened this year that it’s hard to wrap it up in a nice bow. I stepped into the CEO role, got married, and my husband and I have been fostering two brothers. My personal life has gone through immense change, just like IGNITE. Our budget has grown by 60%, and we now have a staff of 40 full and part-time employees located across the country.
I’m a nonprofit leader who took over as CEO during the middle of the pandemic. As a young breast cancer survivor, I received my vaccine as early as possible and I happily shared my photo on social media. But, as a CEO of a non-profit organization with a majority of Black and Brown staff members and participants, I deeply understand the concerns that folks have about vaccination. America has an ugly history of involuntary medical experimentation on Black and Brown people: the same communities that are being disproportionately impacted by COVID.
Joining a public board or commission can be the first step in running for office and it’s easier than you may think. For this month’s Q&A, IGNITE paired up two young women who have held/currently hold positions.