Women of Color Leaders Launch #Our100 Effort to Demand Accountability From Public Officials

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Women of Color Leaders Launch #Our100 Effort to Demand Accountability From Public Officials

Auditi Guha

“Women of color-led coalitions are coming together in the first 100 hours after electing a new president to support an agenda for Black lives, immigrants, Muslims, Latinas … against rape culture and a sexist, racist, xenophobic policy,” said Agunda Okeyo, an activist, organizer, and African immigrant in New York City.

Following the election of Republican Donald Trump to the White House, women of color in New York City are joining together over the next four days in solidarity against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments.

This action builds on October’s #GOPHandsOffMe protests, when women of color and survivors took to the streets and made videos in response to the tape in which the president-elect could be heard through a hot mic speaking about sexually assaulting women.

“Women of color-led coalitions are coming together in the first 100 hours after electing a new president to support an agenda for Black lives, immigrants, Muslims, Latinas … against rape culture and a sexist, racist, xenophobic policy,” said Agunda Okeyo, an activist, organizer, and African immigrant in the city who told Rewire in a phone interview that Trump is “a danger to democracy.”

Thousands will mobilize nationwide to tell the country that the leadership of women of color will not end at the ballot box. These first 100 hours are the kickoff to demand accountability from all holders of public office and to spread an anti-hate agenda that includes a vision for Black lives, common sense immigration reform, and an end to rape culture, according to the release. 

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A press conference by women of color leaders will be held at 4:45 p.m. in Manhattan. Speakers will include My Muslim Vote’s Linda Sarsour, Demos President Heather McGhee, Movement for Black Lives co-founder Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, and Demos Vice President Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, as well as survivors of sexual assault and immigrant rights leaders, the release stated. 

Leaders representing Black Lives Matter, Demos, Forward Together, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance worked together in the week leading up to the election to raise the national profile of women-led organizing. Those efforts culminated in the #Our100 pledge and a wave of actions nationwide, the release stated.

“We have a lot more work to do, to build the America we deserve. But we are strong, determined, and we are just getting started,” said Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and one of the organizers of this action, in the release.

Viviana Bernal of Demos and the #GOPHandsOffMe campaign told Rewire she is participating to end the culture of violence, rape culture, and sexual assault that many women have spoken up against since the Trump tapes went public.

“We believe Donald Trump basically admitted to sexual assault. Women of color and sexual assault victims felt triggered,” Bernal said during a phone interview on Tuesday. “He has been saying really racist, sexist things all along. It is only when his comments violated the rights of white women that it led to public outcry.”

The women of color participating in the campaign are outraged at all his vitriolic statements against marginalized populations and want to “center our voices and speak out,” she added.

“This election was a referendum on the politics of hate and division. We have a long way to go,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, in the release.

In conjunction with the launch of #Our100, the leaders will release polling data from Celinda Lake about women of color voters and an open letter to the nation to be published in major national publications this week.  

“Our work did not start, and it will not end at the ballot box,” said Olguín-Tayler, a survivor of sexual assault, in a statement. “We are women who lead organizations, work in Hollywood, teach in our universities, women who are ordained faith leaders, who run large businesses; women who are mothers, who take care of our land and our elders. We came together across our differences to write this letter to our fellow Americans because we know we can, and must, do better. We need a nation that does right by women. Because when women of color are doing well, when Black and Muslim and Indigenous women in particular are doing wellthis whole country will be well.”

“We stand determined to hold the vision of a just, inclusive America worthy of ALL of her people,” McGhee said in the release. “No longer can anybody sit on the sidelines. This election will be the last stand of the past, and tomorrow is already being born.”