Published in The Root

By Darren Walker

Despite some (if uneven) progress with vaccinations, we still face a pandemic of pandemics: A deadly virus that exposes and aggravates deep-seated racism and gender-bias throughout our societies and institutions. Indeed, all of the data affirm, women—particularly women of color—bear the brunt of these interconnected crises.

The facts are devastating: Women of color have been left without jobs at higher rates during Covid-19. Around the world, rising unemployment coupled with lockdowns and school closures have forced millions into poverty and the threat of violence at home. In Tunisia, for instance, reported incidents of domestic violence increased five-fold during the early days of the pandemic.

And yet, in the face of grave threats and rampant inequality, Black women and girls are rising up to say, “No more.” They’re working on the frontlines to build intersectional, sustainable, transformative movements to heal their communities—in the tradition of untold millions of women of color before them.

As we close out this Women’s History Month, I think of all the Black women who inspire us to be and do better: Women whose names we know, like Stacey Abrams, Sherrilyn Ifill and Graça Machel—and women whose names we may never know, but whose work is just as critical to progress.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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