On Juneteenth, Black Leaders Need More Than Anti-Racism Lip Service. We Need Real Investments in Our Leadership.

Black women have long been on the frontlines of social movements—driving change, innovation and progress in our communities and beyond. From the streets to the voting booth, from community centers to the halls of Congress, Black women have made invaluable contributions to advancing justice for our families and communities at large.

Despite our invaluable contributions, organizations led by Black women and geared towards women of color often grapple with underfunding, skepticism and being considered an afterthought.

To Defend Democracy, We Must Protect Bodily Autonomy

It is no coincidence that at the same moment U.S. democracy is facing existential threats, we are also witnessing profound assaults not only on the body politic but on our bodily autonomy. 

One of the biggest threats to the consolidation of power is an empowered and engaged populace—particularly women, the LGBTQ community and people of color. Which is why anti-democratic leaders are doing all they can to limit and curtail the power of these communities. This moment requires progressive and pro-democracy funders to understand the attacks to reproductive freedom, LGBTQ liberation, and racial justice not as distinct or disparate—but as central to the attacks to our democracy itself, and to fund accordingly.

So Goes Reproductive Freedom, So Goes Democracy

When people consider what it means to be a democracy on the decline, plot points of the recent film Civil War come to mind: a U.S. president who disregards the Constitution to nab a third term. Crackdowns on dissent and the media. Leaders using the military to break up public demonstrations.

While that is, of course, representative of growing authoritarianism, recent history suggests that rollbacks on bodily autonomy and reproductive freedoms are also flashing red lights for would-be regimes.