Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
The National Organization for Women is proud to officially endorse the March for Black Women, and the March for Racial Justice (M4RJ). The events will take place concurrently, and in solidarity with one another, on September 30, 2017.
As our nation reels from Charlottesville, we have a responsibility as feminists to take action on behalf of racial equity and justice. Charlottesville did not happen in isolation; it was the culmination of a long history of policies, practices, and cultural values that continue to uphold white supremacy. People of color–particularly women–lose their lives and sacrifice their dignity every day as a result of this toxic system. Swift action is needed to begin healing the racism so deeply ingrained in the United States–and put an end to the steady stream of injustices people of color face.
On September 30, we will bear witness to these tragedies, and demand racial justice. We are proud to share the vision for the march identified by M4RJ organizers: “to create a just and equitable future for communities of color, so that we may all thrive together.” And we are especially proud to support the creation of a healing space for Black women, who shoulder a disproportionate share of this burden.
Indeed, as the National Organization for Women, we support these marches because of the particular hatred women of color experience, as a result of both their race and their gender. But it’s more than that as well. As feminists we support the march because white supremacy pushes us all downward. The oppression of women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, and other marginalized individuals are all wrapped up together–and rooted in the same source. Solidarity + action will drive change.
We will be in the streets of Washington, DC on September 30 and raising our voices, just as NOW’s founders did when they put racial justice in our original statement of purpose more than 50 years ago. I’m inviting NOW activists to join me on that day–in Washington, at a sister march, or in their hearts. And I’m inviting them to join me every day afterward, to keep taking action to dismantle white supremacy long after the march is done.
M.E. Ficarra, firstname.lastname@example.org, 951-547-1241