Statement from Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s…
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Emergency COVID Relief Fund to provide aid in seven cities.
WASHINGTON — In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda today announced the establishment of a COVID Emergency Relief Fund, to provide needed pandemic recovery funding for the organization’s state partners serving the needs of Black women and families in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans and Philadelphia. In Our Own Voice is a national-state partnership with eight Black Reproductive Justice organizations: 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.
Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement:
“This new fund will provide emergency resources to support the essential Reproductive Justice work being done in these communities by In Our Own Voice’s eight strategic partners.
“In the United States alone, as of today, an estimated 216,000 people have died from COVID-19, with 7,859,417 confirmed cases of infection and numbers going up every day. These numbers have been even more stark for Black individuals and families, with Black people accounting for over 21% of coronavirus deaths, despite only representing approximately 12% of the U.S. population as a whole. Alongside the devastating health impacts of COVID-19, the resulting economic crisis has put 39 million people out of work, with Black and Latina women hit hardest by pandemic-related job loss. Meanwhile, the failure to act within the federal government drags on, leaving those already suffering and struggling to get by in a state of crisis as months pass without critically needed leadership, resources and economic relief measures.
“Right now, we are sicker and poorer in America because of the coronavirus, yet the federal government is doing little to address these problems. Instead, all we see is a rush to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with a conservative justice who will eliminate healthcare for 20 million Americans in the middle of a pandemic. Since the federal government seems unable to do its job of supporting citizens in their time of need, someone has to step in to defend the lives, livelihood and wellbeing of our communities. Time and again Black women have demonstrated our leadership in times of crisis. This time is no different.
“We are a small national nonprofit with the goal of lifting up the voices of Black women leaders on the issues that impact their lives and, right now, few issues are having a greater impact on the lives of Black women and their families than COVID-19. Although we cannot take on the problems in every city, we will work with our partner organizations in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans and Philadelphia to provide funds for food, utilities, childcare and, in some cases, rent.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national Reproductive Justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our strategic partners include 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.