Author Amoni Thompson
Award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons is the 2015-2016 Sterling A. Brown '22 Visiting Professor of Africana Studies, a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow, and an Associate Editor of the online publication The Feminist Wire. You can follow her on twitter @AfroLez.
Photo Credit: Julie Yarbrough
Author Amoni Thompson
Victoria Ferguson-Young is the Executive Director of The Kindred Moxie Network, Inc. and the Coordinator of DeKalb County’s Ending Abuse in Later Life Project. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA and has been active in the movement to end domestic and gender-based violence since 2007.
In April of this year, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and White House senior advisor and Chair of White House Council on Women and Girls, Valerie Jarrett, announced the launch of their paid leave advocacy tour, "Lead On Leave: Empowering Working Families Across America." The goal for the tour was to promote and advocate for paid leave policies in work environments across the nation, and to educate the public on how these policies can positively affect our economy. The tour kicked off in the city of Seattle but soon made its way to Atlanta. There to address a room full of non-profit and for profit organizations, community leaders, employers and employees of various businesses in Atlanta were Mayor Kasim Reed and Valerie Jarrett. Jane Smith, the Executive Director of LEADS at Spelman College, joined the armchair conversation as the moderator.Read more
“My name is Eshe Shukura. I am 24 years old and a recent graduate of Hampshire College with a BA in Liberal Arts emphasizing in Theatre. I am a long time youth activist, I was active in youth organizations such as the Project South Institution for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide Youth Council and the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, a company known for their thought provoking plays. Most recently I have been marching and protesting in support of the people of Ferguson and the demilitarization of the police. I also encouraged local people to GOTV in the midterm election with We Vote We Rise.
The founding of We Vote We Rise, offered so many young people, including me, an opportunity to engage in the electoral process. Voting is often an afterthought for many youth of color, who struggle to see the collective power of their voices. We Vote We Rise offered a paid position that put young people of color at center of the midterm election through door to door canvassing and phone banking. We gained power through being vessel of agency for the voters we outreached to; reminding them to vote and surveying them about their concerns in their communities and lives. We were educated on the importance of voting, the effect this current elections had of healthcare and reproductive justice rights.”
Ian Janke, 22 yrs., Hip-Hop Artist and DJ
Just 6 weeks after being in the hospital recovering from multiple gun wounds due to a random shooting two blocks from his home in the Atlanta, GA, community of Old Fourth Ward, 21 years old Ian Janke joined the We Vote. We Rise! GOTV door canvassing team. He talked to people about healthcare access, safe communities, and the importance of getting out to vote. While this was the first time Ian ever participated in a GOTV team, registered to vote, and participate in an election, Ian shortly became a leader among his peers. He began coaching newly hired young people and became an inspiration to the team.
As a Hip-Hop artist and DJ, Ian was able to bridge his political work with the arts as the opening act for the 2014 Rock the Vote concert in Atlanta, GA, featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. Ian electrified the crowd inspiring his peers with his testimony and encouraging them to vote and learn about the issues impacting their communities. Ian stated through the We Vote. We Rise! program, he learned more about current events in Georgia, gained a better understanding of the issues facing his community, and wants to stay involved in the political process agreeing that changing public policy is a necessary part to help solve societal problems.
Meet Women Engaged's featured community leader, Christi Ketchum, the Founding Director of Our Rightful Place, LLC., based in Sacramento, CA. Christi started Our Rightful Place in 2011 as an answer to a longtime passion of having a nurturing space that allows Black women to discuss pertinent social and interpersonal issues and develop ways to respond collectively.
Georgia Coalition for The People’s Agenda, Women Engaged and the New Georgia Project Convene Social Justice Advocates, Elected Officials and Academics to Address the Intersection of Gender, Race and Voting
On the 95th anniversary of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement, local nonprofits collaborate to have a multi-generational conversation about Black women and the democratic process.
ATLANTA, GA – This Wednesday, several nonprofit organizations, elected officials, and academics will gather to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, when some American women won the right to vote. Though great strides have been made towards full equality for women, particularly Black women, there is still a long way to go; participating groups will use this public event as an opportunity to shed light on some of the largest, most pressing issues faced by Georgia women as voters and as advocates.Read more