1. Black Women’s Blueprint was in Washington D.C. This Week! Farah Tanis and Sevonna Brown travelled to Washington D.C. on Monday to meet with the Department of Justice, Just Beginnings Collaborative and Office of Violence Against Women to discuss how we will end Child Sexual Abuse under the current and the next presidential administrations. BWB is honored to be a grantee of Just Beginnings Collaborative, and part of a consortium of organizations fighting to end CSA. Read more about the work Just Beginnings and BWB is doing around CSA here.
2. Black Women’s Blueprint was at the UN this week! Ericka Dixon and Frederica Stines were at UN Women on Monday to celebrate the launch of the Youth Friendly CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). Described as the international bill of rights for women, CEDAW is an international legal instrument that requires countries to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in all areas and promotes women’s and girls’ equal rights. Black Women’s Blueprint is fighting to make New York City a CEDAW city in 2017, and is on the front lines of mobilizing college students and young women of color to join the movement. Read more about Youth4CEDAW here.
3. Justice for All Reauthorization Act Signed into Law: The Justice for All Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on December 16. Justice for All was originally signed into law in 2004, and enhances protections for victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes, establishes safeguards to prevent wrongful convictions, and increases the national commitment to forensic technology to help fight crime. The Act is an attempt to tackle the backlog of rape kits, protects the Violence Against Women Act funding streams and adds support to the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Read more about Justice for All here.
4. Trump Asks State Dept. to Hand Over Info on Gender Equality Programs: In an unprecedented and disturbing move, President-Elect Trump has asked the State Department to provide information on staffing and funding of it’s all gender equality programs, including all job functions that are related to ending sexual violence, domestic violence and increasing women’s political participation. While no specific names were said to be provided to the incoming administration, many are worried that this “fact finding mission” is a precursor to a dramatic decrease in funding to these essential programs as well as a witch hunt for those of us who are engaged in this essential work. Read more here.
5. Women Reports White Man Choked Her Son; Fort Worth Texas Police Assault and Arrest Her Instead: Jacqueline Craig and her 15 year old daughter were arrested after Jacqueline confronted a white police officer about his violent behavior towards her 7-year old son. Jacqueline’s son had been physically assaulted by a police officer on his way home from school for dropping a piece of paper on the ground. The officer grabbed him and choked him. When the mother and daughter confronted the police officer about his behavior they were arrested. Read continuing updates on this story here.
6. Black Transgender Activist Andrea Jenkins Runs for Minneapolis City Council: Black Women’s Blueprint is excited that Black trans activist Andrea Jenkins is running for city council in Minneapolis and aims to be the first trans woman of color to serve her city. Jenkins is one of six candidates of color who are running for City Council, highlighting the power that local elections and representation can hold. Read more about Jenkins and her run here.
7. Serena Williams Won’t Apologize for Being Black and Confident: In a recent interview with Common, tennis champion and one of the world’s greatest athletes, Serena Williams, discussed race and identity and how this has impacted her throughout her career and her life. Williams in response to being asked what might have been different if she were a man said “ I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation [of being the greatest] a long time ago. I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it’s a lot to deal with — and especially lately...I were a man, I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago.] Read and watch the entire interview here.
8. In Their Words, How Children are Affected by Gender Issues: At 9 years old, how did you think about gender? 9 year olds from around the world, from Kenya, to South Dakota to China, to Israel were asked what they liked and didn’t like about being their perceived gender and their answers may (or may not) surprise you. Check out their answers here.
9. 2016 in Review: Huffington Post compiled 26 of the most important articles that were written by people of color in 2016, including several by powerful black women. Black Women’s Blueprint invites you to check out these powerful and insightful writings here.
10. Happy Holidays from Black Women’s Blueprint! As the year draws to a close, Black Women’s Blueprint wishes each of you a happy, safe, restful holiday. We also recognize that the holiday season can bring an increase of anxiety, stress and trigger trauma reactions based on previous experiences. Please know that however your holiday seasons looks, you deserve to hold space for yourself, you deserve to have your needs met and you deserve to surround yourself with chosen family and friends and whomever brings you light and love. Check out some more resources to help you through the holidays here.
Black Feminist Quote of the Week
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it”