Happy New Year! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we must look ahead with intention, resolve, and a plan! McFadden and Whitehead remind us that even though we’ve been going through some things (and truth be told, we will continue to struggle), we can’t let nothing hold us back! And we can’t let NOTHING stand in our way! It may seem strange to quote a song in a post about something as serious as social justice; however, I want us to go into 2021 with positive energy, and what better way to do that than with movement music?!
In 2021, WE CAN invites you to join in our efforts to be agents of change on several key issues. Each week in January, we will introduce you to one of our campaigns and hope you will join with other sisters to make things better for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We must take a stand and work for more COVID-19 relief funds for struggling Americans. We must work hard to expand health care coverage for the uninsured, including those who lost coverage when they were laid off due to the pandemic. Our work would not be complete if we didn’t also focus on helping sisters struggling to survive abusive relationships. And Sisters involved with the criminal justice system directly or indirectly through a loved one also need our collective support to expand reforms. There is a lot to do, but WE CAN do it together!
WE CAN will focus on health, economic security, criminal justice, and domestic violence AND provide support for Sisters who want to activate the WE CAN Network on other issues. WE CAN activist tools such as our weekly call to action emails, petitions, letter-writing, texting, and virtual events will help you to educate the WE CAN Network and invite Sisters to join you to create change. There is plenty of room at the WE CAN table to work on what is important to you!
WE CAN is THE hub of social change efforts for women of color!
~ Featured Campaign ~
The CROWN Act Campaign
Only California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, and Maryland have passed laws making it illegal to discriminate against a person in the workplace or in schools because of their natural or protective hairstyle. Chastity Jones, Tyler House, and several other Sisters have been fired and are fighting legal battles for the right to wear natural hairstyles.
Recent studies conducted by Dove/Unilever Companies and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business revealed that Black women are discriminated against for wearing their hair in natural hairstyles. It is frustrating that Black women, some of the most highly educated, skilled, and experienced workers, are passed over, or worse, fired from jobs for wearing their hair the way it grows out of their heads!
The U.S. House of Representatives passed The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act in 2020 to protect Sisters from discrimination based on how she styles her hair. There is a complimentary bill in the U.S. Senate (SB 3167), but it is one of the hundreds of bills waiting for action.
Visit The CROWN Act Campaign page for more information!
Step 1. Call Your U.S. Senators about The CROWN Act
Check the list below to see if your U.S. Senators have signed on to support The CROWN Act. If they have, call them and thank them for their support.
Dear Senator (INSERT LAST NAME): Thank you for your support of The CROWN Act! As a woman of color I am pleased to know that you think it should be illegal to discriminate against someone because of how they wear their hair. I appreciate your action on this issue. Sincerely, Your Name and Phone NumberSample Script to THANK YOUR U.S. Senators
If not, call them and ask him/her to join their colleagues in support of The CROWN Act.
Dear Senator (INSERT LAST NAME): I’m calling today to ask you to protect women of color and others who are facing discrimination based on how they wear their hair. Too many women have been fired or harassed for wearing their hair in its natural state. Please take a stand for me and other constituents at risk for discrimination based on a hairstyle. Thank you. Sincerely, Your Name and Phone NumberSample Script to INVITE SUPPORT FROM YOUR U.S. Senators
Don’t know who your U.S. Senators are and how to reach them? Click here to find out who they are and their contact information.
|Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]*||01/08/2020|
|Sen. Harris, Kamala D. [D-CA]||01/21/2020|
|Sen. Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD]||01/28/2020|
|Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]||02/03/2020|
|Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]||02/03/2020|
|Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]||02/04/2020|
|Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]||02/10/2020|
|Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]||02/11/2020|
|Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]||02/13/2020|
|Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL]||02/13/2020|
|Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]||02/25/2020|
|Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]||02/27/2020|
|Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL]||02/27/2020|
|Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]||03/02/2020|
|Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]||03/04/2020|
|Sen. Jones, Doug [D-AL]||03/04/2020|
|Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI]||03/10/2020|
|Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]||03/10/2020|
|Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT]||03/10/2020|
|Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]||03/10/2020|
January 22, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET
Please register today and stay tuned for details on this month’s film!
Catch Up on the Sister Source Podcast!
Listen to the latest episode featuring Anika Manzoor, Executive Director, The Youth Activism Project, and learn how middle and high-school activists are leading change!
Stephanie McGencey, WE CAN President/Founder