Remembering the Late Faith Ringgold—the Black Feminist Artist Who Knew Who She Was

The late Faith Ringgold was a feminist, an activist, a teacher, a mother and an artist known for her innovative use of mediums, ranging from the more traditional oil on canvas, murals and mosaics, to story quilts, protest posters and soft sculptures.

(This article originally appears in the Summer 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Invest in Black and Latina Early Childhood Educators. Our Students Deserve It.

The latest Head Start reauthorization bill and President Biden’s 2025 fiscal budget include much-needed funding increases to raise educator wages. However, these gains are fragile, as evidenced by a recent Washington, D.C., budget proposal that would eliminate the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund, a program created in 2021 to achieve pay parity between early childhood educators and their K-12 counterparts.

As at-large Councilmember Christina Henderson pointed out, “It feels like we’re balancing the budget on the backs of Black and brown women in the childcare sector.”

Separate Is Never Equal: Authors Margaret Beale Spencer and Nancy E. Dowd on Ensuring Equality for America’s Children

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine that allowed public schools to segregate students by race in 1954, it opened the possibility of radical change. But 70 years later, the promise of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education has yet to be realized.

Psychologist Margaret Beale Spencer and attorney Nancy E. Dowd, authors of Radical Brown: Keeping the Promise to America’s Children, interrogate why progress has been slow and uneven.

Nine Need-to-Know Changes From the New Title IX Rules

The United States Department of Education released its much-anticipated amendments to the existing Title IX regulations—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 

The amendments make substantial changes to the existing Title IX regulations. Experts anticipate these new changes will result in an increase in the number of Title IX complaints, since they broaden the protections of Title IX. The Education Department is requiring all schools implement the new 2024 regulations by Aug. 1. 

Here are nine significant changes to Title IX that interested parties in higher education should know.

Afghan Women Voice ‘Deep Disappointment’ and ‘Dread’ Over Potential Taliban Recognition

In a nationwide women’s consultation, Afghan women have expressed ‘dread’ and ‘anxiety’ over the potential international recognition of the de facto authorities (DFA), with 67 percent stating it would severely affect their lives.

Among the participants, a majority stated that if such international recognition were to occur, it should only be contingent upon the removal of all restrictions in place by the Taliban against Afghan women and girls.

As College Decision Day Nears, Students Should Consider States’ Abortion Access

May 1 is “National College Decision Day”—when college applicants traditionally must commit to their school of choice.  With recent studies showing students are concerned about access to reproductive healthcare, students should be aware of state abortion laws before they make their final college decision. 

“Abortion bans are affecting where students feel comfortable living and learning,” said Daisy Chin-Lor, president and CEO of IWPR. “They do not want to go to states that restrict their reproductive health choices, and their parents do not want to support states that limit women’s freedom.” 

The Arizona Abortion Fight Is a Reminder That Progress Is Not Linear

April’s U.S. political news admittedly brought many horrors—from Alabama legislators advancing a bill to define sex based on “reproductive systems,” not gender identity; to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing an Idaho ban on gender-affirming care for minors to take effect; to the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an abortion ban from 1864, which opens the door to criminalizing health providers with up to five years of prison time if they provide abortion services. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the ruling “a huge step backwards.”

Legal changes in the present may appear to be reversing earlier advancements, as Romero said. But advocates of equity need a better grasp of history so they are realistic about the intermittent successes of movements for social change. The fight for full gender equality is a long game.