We did it. We voted. We keep going.
“I am thinking about her, the generations of Black women, Asian, White, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.”
— Senator Kamala Harris of California, who will become the first woman to serve as vice president
On November 7, 2020, we witnessed an historic win and a milestone in our journey for gender and racial justice and equity as the first Black, South Asian woman was elected to serve as vice president of the United States of America. After a long and difficult election, nearly 66 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots this year – breaking nearly a one-hundred-year-old record. Millions of individuals took action and voted in hopes to help shape the future of our country. And many of the voters who chose compassion over hatred, unity over division, freedom over oppression and justice over exploitation, were women, particularly women of color.
Thank you to all of the women who once again cast their ballots and made sure that their voices were heard. And a special thank you to Black women who, as Kamala Harris said during her speech, “so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.” The many freedoms that women and girls experience today would not be possible without the struggles, determination and vision of Black women.
As we celebrate, there is still much work to be done. The past four years highlighted the deep division among Americans and the systemic racism and sexism that continue to pervade every institution in our country. COVID-19 ravished through our country resulting in the death of almost 240,000 Americans and threatening the economic security of millions, majority of whom are women. A recent report by the Century Foundation revealed that four times as many women as men dropped out of the labor force in September, roughly 865,000 women compared to 216,000 men. The pandemic will set women back a generation. (Read more here).
As threats against the integrity of our democracy continue and the pandemic continues to escalate across our country, we can never afford to be complacent. We cannot afford to go back to our segregated bubbles and continue to live in isolation from the injustices of our world.
So what is next?
We keep going.
We work to fully understand and define the nature of our oppression by educating ourselves and others about the faulty foundation on which our country was built and how our past history is our current history.
We work to build bridges of empathy and compassion rather than walls of judgment and hatred.
We continue to build communities grounded in our shared humanity.
We work to build solidarity among all women by taking action to dismantle white supremacy.
We build collective power by working in solidarity with those on the frontline working for social justice and true equity.
We keep fighting for gender and racial equity until all of us are free.
This historic win is not a final victory but rather a momentous beginning and call to action. We all should, and must, celebrate this historic win and milestone in our journey for justice and equity, but we cannot rest. In fact, now is the time to continue the momentum and further mobilize.
Our mission at WOMENS WAY is inspire and mobilize our communities to achieve gender equity for all – and this is what we will continue to do.
Know in the end, we win together.
In solidarity and hope,
Diane Cornman-Levy Cynthia Ritter
Executive Director Board Chair
WOMEN’S WAY WOMEN’S WAY