It’s been five weeks since I was in DC for the #WeWontWait2016 Summit and, although a lot has happened since then, everything I experienced there has been on my mind. I keep thinking about all the women from all backgrounds, colors, and ethnicities gathered together. I’ve been thinking particularly about women at the intersection of families and social justice, standing next to one another to demand a different society, to envision a much better nation.
When I think about the summit, I can’t help but to be grateful to the women at Moms Rising who invited me to attend such an important event. The memories make me smile, because despite the challenges we all face as women at the intersection of inequality and unfair wages, and so many other issues in which we are bound to meet at some point in our lives as women, we all chose to build bridges and see our similarities.
I have been thinking about all the intersections in which the lives of women cross, and how we are the thread that connects society as a whole. We are the mothers, the wives, the sisters, the caregivers, and the friends. When we look around us, we are experiencing injustice, violence, lacking basic needs either personally or because we have a loved one who is going through it.
During the We Wont Wait Summit, I met different women with diverse stories; all of them were women at the intersection of race and labor issues, women at the intersection of the status quo and the potential to create a different reality for all of us. I was glad to see a multicultural group of women, truly representing the United States, coming together to ignite change, to challenge the status quo, and to envision a nation that is not only inclusive and fair, but that it is a peaceful one for everyone.
Reflecting about this made me remember something said by journalist Courtney Martin during her ‘The New American Dream’ TED Talk: “Artist Anne Hamilton had said: Labor is a way of knowing, labor is a way of knowing. In other words, what we work on is what we understand about the world. If this is true, and I think it is, then women who have disproportionally cared for the little ones, and the sick ones, and the aging ones, have disproportionally benefited from the most profound kind of knowing there is: knowing the human condition.”
I loved this and totally agree that as women we have benefited from the best knowing there is, and it is because of this knowledge of the human condition that we are capable of not only envisioning, but also creating a world that is more just and understanding, in which all people have a voice and the opportunities they need. As women at the intersection of what is and what it can be, and with our profound understanding of the common humanity we all share, I think we can create the nation we all deserve.
We Are Women At The Intersection
[at the many intersections] Of Our Lives
No matter which issues matter to you the most, if you are a woman, of any race, socioeconomic status or level of education, you’ll find yourself meeting other women at some intersection. That’s why the #WeWontWait2016 Summit’s whole mission is focused on the realities of women’s lives. None of us lead single-issue lives; we are not just women at the intersection of poverty and violence, or race and social justice, or family and reproductive rights. We all have intersections and we need an approach that allows each one of us to have lives that are whole, in which our families can thrive.
To get equal pay, for equal work, just like that.
To see elections in which women not only vote, but are also represented at the ballots and in positions of power.
That access to quality and affordable healthcare is not a luxury of the few, but a right for all.
Immigration policies that promote the full integration of immigrants with a focus in women empowerment and inclusion
A comprehensive criminal justice reform that controls the acquisition of guns bans assault weapons and enforces criminal background checks for all gun purchases.
A reform that also reduces incarceration rates with a focus on investing in training, employment and resources to facilitate the reentry of people once they get out of prison.
Elder care that is affordable and sustainable, with quality of care and dignity for those who provide care.
More support for quality, safe and affordable childcare. A parent shouldn’t have to choose between working and providing for his/her child and keeping it safe, nurtured and educated.
To get 12 weeks of guaranteed and paid family and medical leave so that all parents can take paid time off when they are caring for a new child, for a seriously ill family member, or recovering from their own serious illness.
Access to abortion and reproductive health care is an essential part of equality for women and especially women of color.
Paid sick days are a matter of economic security; no parent should have to choose between keeping his or her job or his or her paycheck and taking care of a sick child.
Here is the video with a summary of our experience there. You can tell how multicultural and diverse was this group of more than a thousand women from all over the US, just by a glimpse of what happened. To watch it again and again warms my heart with the commitment of American Women to bring about the change we need. It gives me so much hope for our future, take a look:
I truly believe in a world envisioned by women, in which we are committed to diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism as a way to bring about equality and fairness. Please visit the WeWontWait site and Take The Pledge.