HONORING AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN PUBLIC SERVICE AND GOVERNMENT
March is Women’s History Month. The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme and this year it is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”
The theme especially honors "the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others." When speaking of prominent African American pioneers, one woman that should be mentioned is Barbara Jordan, a U.S. congressional representative from Texas and the first African American congresswoman from the Deep South. Known for her commitment to ethics and her impressive oratory skills, she helped shaped the political landscape with her dedication to the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.
As we mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which legalized women’s right to vote, in recognition of Women’s History Month, Blacks United In Leadership and Diversity (BUILD), remains steadfast in highlighting achievements, especially that of African American Women and others of Color. Famous 19th century stalwarts such as Mary Ann Shadd Cary, abolitionist and pioneering publisher, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, better known as Ida B. Wells, African American writer and activist famous for her work campaigning against lynching in the South, and 20th century pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer, powerful public speaker who fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans to vote safely, despite the danger to her life. These political and social activists certainly paved the way for modern-day rising star Stacey Abrams (D-GA), who was very close to becoming the nation’s first Black Female Governor! As tribute to her achievements and championing of anti-voter suppression agendas, Abrams was selected to deliver the customary response to the presidential State of the Union address February 2019.
African American / Black Women in America particularly, gained the right to vote long after their African American Male counterparts had already been exercising this right. In their sustained fight to combat ingrained racism, crippling levels of poverty, and sub-standard living conditions, Black Women have always worked together (and with allies from all walks of life), to organize community-based cultures of resistance -- fighting for employment, a living wage, dignity, equal representation, and political leadership.
BUILD invites all leaders and employees across the enterprise to celebrate Women’s History Month and the accomplishments and achievements of daring women pioneers across every sector of life!
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