As I wrote to you recently, I’m excited to have begun my work as the new National NOW president with a focus on doing more to adopt an intersectional lens when it comes to all aspects of our lives, and more to ensure that we are providing an inclusive safe space for one another.  

One urgent challenge facing us today that demands this approach is the current debate over the U.S. Census.  I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve been reading and thinking about on this topic over the last few days.   

NOW supported this lawsuit filed by cities and civil rights groups to stop the Trump Administration from terminating the 2020 census a month earlier than planned—a move that would likely lead to a massive undercount of marginalized communities and communities of color.  

You might be interested in this article about how an undercount will impact Native American communities, and this analysis from the National Urban League on the Black census count. 

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s temporary restraining order stops the administration from scaling back the count—for now.  There’s a hearing on September 17 to decide what happens next. We’ll all be watching. 

Speaking of watching… this week I participated in a Facebook Live TeleTown Hall organized by Barbara Arnwine and the Transformative Justice Coalition, on “Our March to the Ballot Box:  Defeating Voter Suppression with Every Step and Every Vote.”  Here’s a link

I also want to bring your attention to the upcoming NOW Annual Conference. This year, we will host a virtual conference held jointly with Feminist Majority over three dates this fall: September 26, October 17, and November 7, 2020. Registration is free for all attendees.  I hope you’ll join us in the work we can do together at our September and October meetings—and the celebrating I hope we’ll be doing in November! 

Finally, I’ve always loved poetry, and I want to share this poem from the Indian Canadian poet Rupi Kaur.  From her collection Milk and Honey, it reads: 

i do not want to have you 
to fill the empty parts of me 
i want to be full on my own 
i want to fill so complete 
i could light a whole city 
and then 
i want to have you 
cause the two of 
us combined 
could set 
it on fire 

I would love to hear your interpretations of what these words mean to you – or if there are other pieces you’d like to share, please let us know on social media – Twitter: @NationalNOW, Facebook: @NationalNOW, Instagram: @NationalNOW.