Visions and Voices From the Women of Color and Allies Summit

Members of NOW's Racial Diversity Committee, like Kathy Wilson (left), introduced a broad spectrum of speakers throughout the weekend. Included in the program were Mary Chung, president of the National Asian Women's Health Organization; Marian Kramer, co-chair of the National Welfare Rights Union.
The powerful opening ceremony included music by (left to right) Jaqui MacMillan, Ade Aboussena, Ife Modupe, Jaamin Tempo, Amma Nyamekye, Amikaeyla Gaston and Ebony Burbridge.
Loretta Ross, executive director of the Center for Human Rights Education and a long-time NOW activist, called for social justice movements to "get their act together and come together."
When Asha Nyisa Sussman Hall (left) and Twiss Butler placed a picutre on the altar representing theEqual Rights Amendment, Asha announced that "If the ERA is not passed by the time I am elected president, then I will sign it into law as soon as I take office."
Native American AIDS activist Lisa Tiger presented a painting on behalf of her sister Dana, and spoke about the troubles of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.
"As we head into the new century...Who will be the faces and voices of our women's movement...Will we see and hear the diversity that is truly our community? Women of color, lesbians and bisexual women of color?" 
Mandy Carter, 
national field director, National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum

"Don't you let no one tell you that workfare is working... Workfare is nothing but a tool to bring all of us down,"
Marian Kramer, 
founder and co-chair, National Welfare Rights Union

"Traditionally there was no need for the women's movement because we were the decision makers in the tribes. Our opinions were listened to and well respected...A Kickapoo prophet once said, 'A women rules with good judgment. Her word is law,'" 
Lisa Tiger, 
Native American AIDS activist

"We have a responsibility to change health policies like [English-only data collection] so that the nation's health programs can be more effective in serving the diversity of the people," 
Mary Chung, 
founder and president, National Asian Women's Health Organization

"I have never seen so many women exchanging addresses and phone many women making connections, sharing information, asking for support and offering it and working together in ways that I hope we will all bring back to our communities," 
Kim Gandy, 
executive vice president, NOW

"Racism goes to the place in your heart where tears are made and when it comes from a white sister, I can't even describe to you how much it hurts. What we have the responsibility to do, clearly, is to clean that stuff up in this movement of ours," 
Dr. Johnnetta Cole, 
presidential distinguished professor of anthropology, women's studies and African American studies, Emory University
"I want more of us to run for office...We need more of our experience at the table...When policies are made that effect all of us, we all need to be there, we need that power. I know some of you are thinking you have to be qualified. Take a look at the current incumbents... I hereby pronounce all of you qualified," 
Patricia Ireland, 
president, NOW
"We're the only country where we promote only one language. We're on the Mexican border of Latin America and we speak only English! Actually, we should be making Spanish a requirement for everybody," 
Dolores Huerta, 
co-founder and secretary treasurer, United Farm Workers
"We can move forward as a community of people–of humans–who want to have a world where we have peace and justice, where we have communication, where we don't have to use violence to maintain dominance," 
Karen Johnson, 
vice president membership, NOW

"The problem with [the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] is that there's been an almost active conspiracy to keep this information out of your hands—'cause you can't fight for rights you don't know you have," 
Loretta Ross, 
founder and executive director, Center for Human Rights Education 

"The truth is that the destiny of the union movement and the destiny of women of color are as one. When unions do well, we do well...Women of color who are in unions are more likely to have health insurance... retirement security...child care and parental leave guarantees," 
Linda Chavez-Thompson, 
executive vice president, AFL-CIO

"My dream for our movement and for this Summit is that when any woman reaches out to touch feminism, she doesn't hesitate —even for a second — about whether the color of feminism looks like her," 
Elizabeth Toledo, 
vice president action, NOW

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