Among the outcry for victims like Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, there has been a deafening silence for the women and girls who are also victims of violence. Rekia Boyd, Mya Hall and Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s tragic deaths all lacked the same urgency that followed the cases of Black men who have become synonymous with the movement for justice.
Organizers with Black Youth Project 100, Ferguson Action and Black Lives Matter have joined forces for a national call to end violence against Black women and girls everywhere. On Thursday, May 21, volunteers in cities across the country will lend their voices to the voiceless in hopes of bringing attention to this growing epidemic.
Events are scheduled in 17 major U.S. cities, including Chicago; New York; Columbus, OH; Oakland, Calif.; Miami; New Orleans; Louisville, Ky.; Lexington, Ky.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Indianapolis; Charlotte, N.C.; Seattle, Wash.; Asheville, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Washington, D.C.
“We believe that Black women and girls' stories of victimization by state actors are often in the shadows of Black men — that must change,” said Charlene Carruthers, national director of the Black Youth Project 100.
A 2014 study released by the Black Women’s Blueprint and Women’s All Point Bulletin to the Committee Against Torture concluded that the over-policing of Black women has increased since 2000, listing rape and sexual violence as the second most prevalent form of police violence. Yet many of their stories go unheard. Similarly, the deaths of transgender women like London Chanel continue to go underreported.
“As we continue to struggle for justice on behalf of our fallen brothers, we join to declare collectively that when we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ we mean ALL Black lives – including our women, transgender and queer sisters, and girls too,” said Jessica Pierce, BYP100 national co-chair.
If you would like to have your voice heard, you can go here for more information. Add your comments to social media using the hashtag #SayHerName.
(Photo: Black Youth Project)