Statement from In Our Own Voice President and CEO Marcela Howell WASHINGTON — Once again,…
Black women are sending a message to Congress and making sure our voices are heard loud and clear about protecting our voting rights. I was honored on Sept. 15 to stand in solidarity with some of my sisters and a few “good men” on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States in a collective call for Congress to pass federal voting rights reform. I’m grateful to Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable for pulling together a dynamic group of Black women leaders to lift up our voices in support of voting rights protections, Reproductive Justice and rights for all women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive people.
In June, when Republican senators blocked passage of the “For the People Act,” my first response was “What are they afraid of?” Then I realized that the answer was right in front of me — us! They are afraid of Black women voters, and they should be.
Our President and CEO Marcela Howell and @RepTerriSewell advocating for voting rights and Reproductive Justice in front of the U.S. Supreme Court today! Thank you both for your tireless work fighting for Black women and marginalized communities! pic.twitter.com/yFQWgXGAKb
— In Our Own Voice (@BlackWomensRJ) September 15, 2021
When Black women come together, we change the world. Black women are the single most progressive voters in the United States and our collective votes equal power that leads to change. Time and again, we have effectively demonstrated our power — especially when it counts most:
- 2018 –We changed the U.S. House of Representatives and elected a record number of Black women to serve in Congress.
- 2020 – We changed the White House and elected the first Black, South Asian, and woman vice president.
- 2021 – We changed representation in Georgia when we helped to elect the first Black senator from the state, which led to a change in the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
In a recent In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda poll, “The Lives and Voices of Black Families,” Black women said they turned out in 2020 because “the stakes were too high not to.” That alone should be a signal to elected leaders that we mean business.
As the head of a Black Woman’s Reproductive Justice organization, I know that voting rights is a Reproductive Justice issue. If our vote didn’t matter, conservatives wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop us from going to the ballot box.
Our job right now is to make sure that the U.S. Senate passes the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” to protect our right to vote in this country. So, to our senators I say: No more hesitation! No more empty explanations! And. No. More. Excuses! We hold your future in our hands. We put you in office and we will put you out!
Take a look below at our collective call on steps of the Supreme Court of the United States for Congress to pass federal voting rights reform.