Before Her Death, Sandra Bland Created This Website to Empower Women

In this undated photo provided by the Bland family, Sandra Bland poses for a photo. The family of Bland, who was found dead in her Texas jail cell, assert that she would not have taken her own life, but authorities are pointing to mounting evidence that they say shows she hanged herself. (Courtesy of Bland family)

Before Her Death, Sandra Bland Created This Website to Empower Women

Sandra Bland and her friend Chenai Okammor created a website called to connect the stories of women across the world.

Published August 18, 2015

Before her death, Sandra Bland was a woman finding her voice through the digital space as seen with her Sandy Speaks videos. Another passion project,, a website publishing the stories with a theme of women's body, mind and spirit, was also in the works. Bland was collaborating with her friend Chenai Okammor to create the platform which launched on Monday.

Though emotionally rattled by the death of her friend, Okammor continued on with launching the site.


"Sandy said to me, 'I’m 28 and I’m just now beginning to identify what I stand for. I do know that when something is wrong, it bothers me so much that I take it to heart,'" Okammor said to Lenny, a newsletter created by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner.

"When she started working on this project I asked her what she wanted to accomplish with it. She said, “I want to be able to share my story with young women out there.” Because she still thought she was alone in her quirkiness," she continued.

Okammor shared her past of moving to New York from Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, as a child because of warfare for independence in the country. She said family members and friends would go missing. She said losing her friend Sandy reminded her of those traumatic experiences. 

"This is America. I’m going through the same exact thing I went through in Rhodesia."

On the website, an article that Bland was writing before she died called "Runner Runner" is dedicated to her. 

"Sandy, as her family and friends affectionately called her, was a CRITICAL member of a small team that built this mission we thoughtfully named Her brilliance and passion for bettering oneself in order to help others on our team is exhibited in many of the forums you will visit on this site."

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(Photo: Courtesy of Bland family/AP Photo)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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