An Open Letter to the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (National Collaborating Organization), and Charleston Communities:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc., I offer heartfelt prayers and condolences to the AME community and the entire City of Charleston, SC. We are all shocked and saddened by the senseless murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Our ties with the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the people of Charleston run deep. Dolly Adams, a member of our Board, shared that her husband, Bishop Adams, presided at the pastor’s wedding and christened his child. Rev. Pinckney was also related to another member of our board. BWA joins those who mourn the dead and pray for the wounded. It is disheartening to know that such hatred continues to exist in our country and the world.
It is ironic that on a day of euphoria when America’s promise for all shone bright — and the first female African-American Attorney General was sworn in by the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, before the first African-American President — a young man so consumed by prejudice and rage sought to take us back to a time when divisiveness, fear and suspicion reigned. We are not going back, and it is a tragedy that he could not grasp that, in an inclusive society, there is room and opportunity for everyone.
The struggle continues, but it will not be won if, as Americans, we live our lives in silos. Look up, reach out, and stay strong. We will overcome.
Gwainevere Catchings Hess
WASHINGTON, DC – Friday, September 18, 2020 – The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) went on the offensive today, hosting a virtual town hall devoted to protecting and securing the voting rights of African Americans and other people of color during its 43rd Annual Symposium. Moderated by Heather McGhee, Board Chair, The Color of Change, a panel of prominent political activists and observers – including Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President, Repairers of the Breach and Co-chair, Poor People’s Campaign; Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, anthropologist, educator and Board Chair of The National Council of Negro Women, Inc.; Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., an esteemed author, commentator and Chairman of Princeton University’s Department of African-American Studies, and Aisha C. Mills, a nationally renowned political strategist and social impact advisor – discussed strategies for combatting voter suppression, registering and engaging African-American voters, and ensuring that they have the opportunity to make their voices heard.
The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) has partnered with Common Cause, an organization fighting for an accountable government, equal rights / opportunities / representation and empowering voices in the political process to get out the vote and protect the vote. This partnership will allow individuals and organizations to expand their community outreach by ensuring that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count.
The Election Protection Program provides Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive information and assistance at all stages of voting – from registration, to absentee and early voting, to casting a vote at the polls, to overcoming obstacles to their participation.
The Black Women’s Agenda endorses federal, state and local government public health warnings prescribed to mitigate the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS~CoV-2) (formerly called HCoV-19 and commonly called COVID-19).
The assertion that coronavirus only threatens older people has been debunked. While data is rapidly being compiled, COVID-19 is trending across all age demographics because of the potentially high transmission from virus shed in asymptomatic patients and the ability for the virus to remain infectious in the air for hours and on surfaces such as plastic and steel for days.