Because Black women have always sacrificed, dared, imagined and led us all towards a visionary and daring enactment of what freedom might become.
Because the fullest story is the one with power.
Because when any of us are left out we are all diminished.
Because the denial of the leadership of Black women in the herstory of the Suffrage movement and all major movements for justice, equity and peace is a form of violence.
Because the spirit of resistance was always stronger than her chains and shackles.
Because suffrage is the courage to strive for truth, inclusion and acknowledgement.
Because the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States calls for honoring all — including (and especially) those who have been systematically diminished and erased from the narrative of full citizenship…
Because of denial, greed, and dominance.
Because we must tell, write, lead with and live our stories free of edits and deletions.
Because memory matters. Words matter. Herstory matters.
Because now is the time to redress; to build a grammar and plant a future that salutes courage and resilience, imagination and intuition, brilliance and grace of Black women, women of color, queer and trans identified, poor and all women who challenge systems that would erase any of us from the planet we inhabit.
Because now is the time to join our ideas, our experiences, our determinations to create publics embracing sustainable gender, racial, class, eco and love justices.
Because Black women organize, vote for, and are elected to create social change.
For all these reasons and more unspoken,
We pledge to make a new narrative, create new language uplifting work for true equity and a future that honors an ecology of, by, and with all.
Of we. Ubuntu. There is no “I” without “we.”
–Kathy Engel, with contributions from S.R.P. Founding Sisters