Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (November 20, 1910-July1, 1985) is not a name that is especially well-known today. But it should be. Her life, her contributions, her work, her story – all of it is remarkable. She was an important, incredible figure in both the civil rights and women’s rights movements. Pauli is yet another story of a “hidden figure” – a woman of color who led change and made lasting contributions, yet whose story is largely unknown by people. Like so many women of color leaders, Pauli was both ahead of her time and behind the scenes, working tirelessly and vigorously to create a better world for us all.
This month, YWCA’s 10th annual Stand Against Racism is focused on “Women of Color Leading Change.” Women of color spearhead movements, demand social justice and equity, and drive progress. Women of color have been leading change since the very beginning! We all know women of color leaders or figures in our lives who we admire, who have inspired us, and who left an important mark on us. To honor some of these women who have shaped our lives, we asked some of our YWCA USA staff to share with us:
April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For over fifteen years, gender based violence organizations, survivors of sexual assault and allies in the fight to end violence have used this month to talk about the prevention of all forms of sexual violence. YWCA is one of the largest networks of sexual and domestic violence services in the country, serving fifty thousand sexual assault survivors and their families every year. We remain committed to ending sexual assault, and we stand with survivors as they heal and thrive.
While the 24-hour timeframe in the tweet was incorrect (because several of the girls in those images had been missing for much longer than 24 hours), I am still moved by the sadness that arose from the black-and-white viral photo. I recognized one face immediately.
By Tiffany Wang, Digital Communications Coordinator, YWCA USA
Organized by MuslimGirl, a website made for and by Muslim women, and in partnership with dozens of media organizations, today is the first-ever Muslim Women’s Day, a day that is all about centering Muslim women’s stories and voices, and elevating their narratives online.
This April marks YWCA’s 10th annual Stand Against Racism. This signature campaign provides opportunities for issue education, advocacy, and community building amongst those engaged in racial justice work. This year, we are focused on a very important theme: Women of Color Leading Change. Now, perhaps more than ever, our country, our government, our business sector, and our movement need the visible leadership of women of color.
On March 8, people from across the country will participate in “A Day Without A Woman,” an action designed to highlight the enormous value that women add to our society and economy – to families, workplaces, businesses, communities, and the broader economy – while receiving lower wages and facing greater inequities, discrimination, and barriers to advancement and economic security. This strike, a follow-up to the historic Women’s March on Washington, falls on International Women’s Day, a global day honoring the social, political, and economic contributions of women globally and calling for progress towards gender parity.
YWCA USA is proud to be an official partner for the Women’s March on Washington. YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We believe these issues cannot be separated — women’s empowerment cannot happen without the elimination of racism; gender justice is racial justice is economic justice. We agree and stand with the March’s aim and their intersectional policy platform, which recognizes that women and girls of color often bear the burden in our society, and disproportionately face inequities and barriers. We are looking forward to joining other social justice and feminist organizations in this March, and, together, continuing the work towards eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
YWCA USA’s Director of Research and Program Evaluation Alicia Gill just arrived back from a World YWCA meeting in Taiwan, where young women and leaders from around the world got together on a mission for young women’s empowerment and leadership (go girl power!) Here, Alicia gives us some insight into her experience there, and talks about women’s empowerment, the global YWCA movement, and our shared commitment to social justice:
Welcome back Alicia! You were recently in Taiwan for a World YWCA meeting. Can you tell us a little bit about that gathering?
In partnership with allies, colleagues, and supporters from across the country,* the National Network to End Domestic Violence and WomensLaw convened a bilingual Twitter chat as part of the national Week of Action. Together, we discussed how to “tie-in” each other’s work and address the varied needs of survivors and their families. Advocates shared ways that their organizations work to end domestic violence, as well as multiple barriers that survivors face.