Statement by NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This month is widely known for celebrating themes of freedom and independence in the United States. However, for many, those themes didn’t emerge until July 2, 1964; Civil Rights Signing Day. The Act stood as a force against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin in public spaces, schools, and places of work. However, as history has revealed – the law is not enough.
Today, racism and discrimination continue to plague our society in more ways than one. As a Black woman, I know firsthand that systemic oppression and all of its complexities exist as it rears its ugly head into employment, voting, education, healthcare, economics, and countless other entities making life for the Black community difficult – just as the system intended.
When I reflect on Civil Rights Signing Day, I think not only about my Black son, but about the generations that will come after him. They will live in a safer, more diverse America because of the work that was done before us, and the work that we will continue to do to dismantle corrupted systems and prejudices. This day should remind you of your own family members, friends or coworkers who make your world better but would not have had the opportunity just decades ago. Stand with them. Use your voice to speak out about the issues that affect their lives every day, so that we can one day break the cycle of racism and discrimination in the United States.
Civil Rights Signing Day marked a significant stride in what has proven to be an unyielding battle, but we must not let it end there. NOW, committed to the ideals of intersectional feminism, fight for all women, no matter their background. I implore you to speak out and unite with us in our fight for a version of “liberty and justice for all” that undeniably includes everyone.