5 Reasons Why a Presidential Forum for Women of Color is Vital

by Arianna Genis, Deputy Communications Director

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Women of color organizing and defying the status quo to gain political power is part of our nation’s history.

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Photo via Tia Oso.
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The Freshman Class of 2018.
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Jennicet Gutiérrez
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LaDonna Brave Bull Allard
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Here are five reasons why you should pay attention to this forum:

1. This forum is dedicated to the issues that matter the most to so many of us — intersectional issues like criminal justice reform, policing, immigration, climate change, equal pay, and more.

We know women of color are crucial when it comes to deciding who will be the Democratic nominee for president.

2. The leadership of the newly elected women of color in Congress is supercharging the movement.

It’s time. It’s been time, but now more than ever women of color are demanding the structures of mainstream politics and institutions adapt to meet their needs. This forum provides a platform for presidential candidates to hear what women of color have to say and what we need to see in the leadership of this country. We’re the present, and the future — so let’s have the conversation.

3. Women of color have been some of the most reliable Democratic constituencies for a long time. You want to win? Listen and earn their vote.

Thanks to organizers and groups on the ground, we’re finally seeing a larger recognition that women of color, particularly black women, are some of the Democratic Party’s most loyal supporters. The 2016 election exit polls showed that 94% of black women cast their vote for Hillary Clinton, as well as 69% of Latina voters. Women of color composed 19.3% of self-reported 2016 Democratic primary voters. In the 2018 midterms, nearly 88% of women of color voted Democratic compared with only 38% of white men.

4. Women of color have a legacy of intersectional analysis — as Audre Lorde said: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

In the mainstream arena, we continually see the needs of communities of color narrowly defined — Latinx communities care about immigration, Black communities care about voting and criminal justice, and indigenous communities care about environmental issues. This list excludes many other communities of color, as well as all other people whose lives are tied to more than one of these communities, showcasing the issue of outright invisibility faced by so many.

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5. When more people see themselves in politics, it inspires them to get involved at all levels.

At re:power, we’re dedicated to growing the capacity of leaders who are dedicated to building a future of inclusive politics, where decisions about our communities are made by our communities at all levels.

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History shows us that the inception of women of color as a political identity helps illustrate that women of color are not only a key voting bloc for the next Democratic nominee, but the face of change in this country.

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We believe in a future of inclusive politics where decisions about our communities are made by our communities at all levels.

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