"All the women are white, all the Blacks are men, but some of us are brave." - Barbara Smith, Akasha Gloria Hull, and Patricia Bell-Scott
This International Women's Day, we are very excited to share the video of the powerful speech by Natalie A. Collier of the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative. Natalie captivated the room at our biannual conference this past December, where she opened and closed her speech referencing the title of the Black Women's Studies Reader edited by Barbara Smith, Akasha Gloria Hull, and Patricia Bell-Scott. She beseeched us to stretch our capacity and consider those who are too often never seen or heard: rural Black women and girls.
This International Women's Day and everyday, we must lift up the leadership of rural Southern Black women and girls - from Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker, to the young women who participate in the Unita Blackwell Young Women's Leadership Institute (a program Natalie directs) - alongside the leadership of all women and girls directly impacted by the intersections of sexism, white supremacy, anti-Black racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, ableism, poverty, capitalism, transmisogyny, the prison industrial complex, settler colonialism and other human rights abuses.
We are thankful for the leadership of women across the country in our National Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Coalition. Just last week, our request for a US-specific hearing on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation was granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for April 4th. Check out our new infographic on the national crisis here, and register for our April 14th webinar.
We take a moment to recall the brave leadership of Berta Caceres who paid the ultimate price for her struggle. We are honored to have been touched by her and pay our respects on this day.
Today, we thank you for your leadership. We celebrate our collective victories. We mourn the ones who have passed on. We unapologetically affirm trans women's womanhood. We honor our trauma, our survival, and our power. Today, we re-commit to building a movement that leaves none of our sisters, siblings, families, or communities behind.