THIRTEEN AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS, REPRESENTING MORE THAN FIVE MILLION WOMEN IN THE U.S. AND GLOBALLY, PLEDGE SOCIAL CHANGE AND REFORM AMID NATIONWIDE UNREST
The Largest Coalition of Members from Historic African-American Women’s Organizations Unite with a Call to Action
(Chicago, IL) - As leaders of African-American women’s organizations in America, we condemn in the strongest terms the senseless and unjustified killings of Black women, Black men, Black girls, and Black boys by police and vigilantes. We have organized knowing that we are stronger and more effective when we work together to raise our more than five (5) million collective voices and exert our collective power to address the unspeakable, horrific killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop and too many others – killings that have sparked a global movement for racial justice.
We stand united and join with Black communities across our country in an urgent demand for policing reform now. Our national shame, which plays out on streets, in cars and even in the sanctity of homes that is resulting in the repugnant killings of African Americans, has reached a fever pitch that can no longer be tolerated. These latest killings, along with those we seldom hear about, have garnered national and international attention and share one common denominator — they demand justice. The trauma of these occurrences is exacerbated by the fact that the nation is in the grip of a horrific pandemic which has had a disproportionate impact on African Americans and other people of color living in poverty. Black, low-wage, essential workers, who risk their lives daily, have disproportionately contracted the COVID-19 virus and died, rendering the most vulnerable families’ recovery uncertain.
The Presidents from each of the named organizations will hold a joint press conference on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 12 p.m. (EDT) on Zoom to unveil their platform and issue a collective call to action. As African-American women leaders, we are committed to using the power of our collective voice, vote, leadership, and influence as we join the American people and citizens around the world to demand that the routine use of lethal force by law enforcement officers who are duty-bound to protect and serve comes to a swift end. Our #United4Reform alliance comes on the heels of global protests over the deaths of George Floyd and too many others at the hands of the police, because of the color of their skin or how they identify.
Please contact the communications representatives listed above to confirm your attendance. The event link will be available Wednesday morning.
#United4Reform AGENDA ACTION ITEMS
- Police Reform. Sweeping federal legislation regarding police reform mandating a zero-tolerance approach in prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals during an arrest
- Voter Engagement/Voter Mobilization/Voter Education. Double local voter mobilization and participation efforts in the Black community to vote, and elect the candidates who will most effectively advocate for our communities
- Voter Legislation. Demand the Senate debate and vote of H.R.1 (For the People Act) that has passed the House of Representatives and would restore the Voting Rights Act and limit voter suppression
- Census 2020 Participation. Complete the 2020 Census and encourage our families and communities to do the same
- Engagement with Elected Officials. Contact local, state, and federal elected officials regarding any legislation that is harmful to African Americans and that does not provide equal protection under the law
- Participate with the Poor People’s Campaign. Attend the virtual march on June, 20, 2020 at 10 a.m.
- COVID-19 Relief. Advocate the passing of additional legislation that protects essential workers and healthcare professionals. COVID-19 has magnified the racial, ethnic and health disparities in the US
- Domestic Violence Protection. Offer real protections for children and adults contending with family violence, therapeutic services for abuses as well as precaution
- Mental Health Support. Implement community-based mental-health support services
- Mentoring and the Protection of Our Children. Enhance and implement service programs that provide social, emotional and academic support to help children realize their worth to unleash their potential
- Facilitate Courageous Conversations about Race and Racism. Engage in facilitated courageous conversations about race and racism in our communities
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women dedicated to raising the status of African-Americans, particularly girls and women. Through a robust international program of service, Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to institute groundbreaking social initiatives and social service programs that transform communities for the better. Today, these include Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call To Action; Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness; Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy; Target 4: The Arts!; Target 5: Global Impact; and The Signature Program #CAPS. The sorority is comprised of nearly 300,000 members in more than 1000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and in the Middle East.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has over 300,000 initiated members and more than 900 chapters worldwide. The Sorority uses its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement to create its national programs.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded January 16, 1920, at Howard University, Washington, D.C. Since its inception, Zeta has continued its steady climb into the national spotlight with programs designed to demonstrate concern for the human condition both nationally and internationally. The sorority takes pride in its continued participation in transforming communities through volunteer services from members and its auxiliaries. Zeta Phi Beta has chartered hundreds of chapters worldwide and has a membership of 100,000+. National and local programs include the endowment of its National Educational Foundation community outreach services and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Chapters and auxiliaries have given untotaled hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is an international collegiate and non-profit community service organization, founded in 1922 on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis. It has welcomed more than 100,000 members who have joined the organization as undergraduates and professionals. The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the mission of the sorority to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service. Programs, initiatives, and partnerships are devoted to progress in the areas of education, healthcare, political action and leadership development.
The Links, Incorporated, was founded in 1946 in Philadelphia, PA by Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott on the tenets of friendship and service. This international organization consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 288 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.
National Council of Negro Women, an “organization of organizations” (comprised of 300 campus and community-based sections and 32 national women’s organizations) that enlightens, inspires and connects more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families and communities. NCNW was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist, who wanted to encourage the participation of Negro Women in civic, political, economic and educational activities and institutions. Today, NCNW’s programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as “Four for the Future”. NCNW promotes education with a special focus on science, technology, art, engineering and math; encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy and economic stability; educates women about good health and HIV/AIDS; promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy and social justice.
Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., is a non-profit professional humanitarian organization, organized in Tyler Texas, in 1964, with the purpose of organizing the talents, energies and skills of women nationally in a collaborative effort to help alleviate the moral and social problems confronting youth. Since its inception, the organization has expanded its objective to include its major focus on youth known as Top Teens of America (ages 13-18), improving the Status of Women, service to Senior Citizens, Community Beautification and Community Partnerships. TLOD’s 120+ chapters nationwide support the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Sickle Cell Disease Awareness (SCDA) and the awarding of national, Area and local scholarships to Top Teens located in each of TLOD’s six geographic areas.
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. is a 39 year old advocacy non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate on behalf of black women and girls to promote leadership development and gender equity in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment.
Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) is devoted to advancing, securing, and protecting the rights of these women. Members continuously strive to acquire greater understanding and cooperation about issues that affect all women and their families, while searching for new knowledge and new conceptualizations about said problems. Through the establishment of social priorities (an agenda), BWA facilitates discussions that lead to effective policies and meaningful change. Their continuous vigilance on issues affecting Black women worldwide empower women to step up and mitigate the gender gaps that affect women in our society. The Black Women’s Agenda was founded in 1977 in Washington, DC.
National CARES Mentoring Movement, was founded in 2006, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as Essence CARES. We saw then, as the world did, all the vulnerable youngsters who, as much as anything, needed the love, guidance and support of able and caring adults. But we found that for all the need, when the call went out for mentors, White women and men responded first. Black women and Black men were too often not in the numbers. The MISSION
of the National CARES Mentoring Movement is to secure, heal and transform the lives of impoverished Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish them. Our national volunteer affiliate network connects adults to local youth-serving organizations. Our national group-mentoring programs focus on the emotional, social and academic development of our children and the wellness of the adults who parent, mentor and educate them.
The Girl Friends, Incorporated, is one of the oldest and most highly respected social organizations of African American women in the United States. It was founded in 1927 in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. The organization has grown to encompass over 1800 women in 47 chapters from coast to coast. The Girl Friends®, Inc., a 501(c)4 organization, remains guided by its founding vision to foster friendship, but also established a separate 501(c)3 arm in 1987, Girl Friends Fund, Inc. to support student scholarship programs. Since its inception the organization’s chapters support a wide variety of local community efforts in each of their 47 locations as well as financially supporting National Projects such as the Flint Water Project, National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Meharry Medical College COVID-19 Research.
Jack and Jill of America Inc. founded by the late Marion Stubbs Thomas on January 24, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated boasts more than 245 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members. Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under a general five point programmatic thrust: cultural awareness, educational development, health (education and advocacy), civic (legislative advocacy and service) and social/recreational areas. Through service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development. Through lobbying, educational programming, dissemination of education materials, and the organization of community and charitable events, Jack and Jill has promoted the public awareness and interests of children including child development, child growth, child quality of life, child care and the promotion of children’s rights.
Black Women’s Roundtable, is a signature program of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. The Black Women's Roundtable serves as the NCBCP’s intergenerational leadership development, mentoring, empowerment and power building arm for Black women and girls. The BWR is at the forefront of championing justice and equitable public policies that center racial, economic and gender justice to promote health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements of success.