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Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — MSNBC announced that Rashida Jones will take the reins as its president, next year. Jones will be the first Black woman to lead a major television news network. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement:
“Congratulations to Rashida Jones and kudos to MSNBC for promoting one of its talented Black women to lead the cable news network. We are delighted and heartened to see another glass ceiling shattered, in what has been a landmark year for Black women.
“Women of color are grossly underrepresented in newsrooms — especially at decision-making tables. Hopefully, Ms. Jones, a graduate of Hampton University, one of the top historically Black universities, will pave the way for more news outlets to promote women of color into leadership positions. In fact, we urge all news networks to make and implement proactive plans of action to knock down the racial and gender barriers to success in the industry. MSNBC is home to ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’ ‘Reid Out with Joy Reid’ and ‘Morning Joe.’
“As news outlets continue to cover the nation’s racial reckoning, it is imperative not only to report on it but, also, participate in it. For news outlets to be a trusted source of information for communities of color, people of color, especially women of color, must be represented at all levels, including at the top. There are countless Black women, who, like Rashida Jones, are more than qualified to lead. We challenge every news outlet to afford them the opportunity to do just that.”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national-state partnership focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national and regional levels in our fight to secure reproductive justice for all women, femmes and girls. Our eight strategic partners are Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc. SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.