Like many other Black Americans, I’ve experienced a vast range of emotions in recent weeks. As protest movements bloomed nationwide, I have cried, raged, and despaired. I’ve thought about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others whose lives were taken by racism and police violence, and I’ve thought long and hard about how I can do my part.
As Deputy Director of women.nyc, I have been so honored to help the women of New York City succeed and aim higher in their careers and businesses. I’ve led workshops in rooms jammed-packed with Black and brown women experiencing a sense of belonging and community in a space with so many women like them, whose journeys to fair pay have been far too long.
As a Black woman, I know that struggle first-hand; I’ve felt how stereotypes and racism can cut deeply, from microaggressions to derailed career trajectories and stolen opportunities. That’s why I do this work and cherish it so much. Racism takes on many forms, and it affects black women economically, emotionally and professionally.
Here at women.nyc, we stand with all women in our diverse NYC community in condemning racism and valuing black lives. Our mission is to connect women of all backgrounds with tools to compete and advance, by supporting policies that help them do so and promoting inclusivity and access in growing industries and fields where women, Black and brown women in particular, are underrepresented.
Everything we do is through the lens of equity, and we vow to continue shedding light on discrimination and bias in the workplace and to be allies in change. We will continue to prioritize the advancement of Black women in New York City, while sharing actionable tools to help.
Here are a few ways we’ll start:
- By continuing the work we started with programs like our Ask for More salary negotiation workshops, NewVenture 50+ entrepreneurial bootcamp, NYC Women’s Fund for female creatives and our She Built NYC, our public-arts campaign honoring trailblazing New Yorkers including Elizabeth Jennings Graham and Shirley Chisholm. We will build on this momentum by pursuing new partnerships that uplift women of color and drive equity in actionable, meaningful ways.
- By engaging with our network of NYC women’s organizations and community partners to ensure that all programming centers racial equity alongside gender equity as core principles.
- Through the creation of a diverse mentoring network to increase access to career opportunity and support.
This is a trying time for our city, and yet a hopeful one as well. We acknowledge the need for change – and pledge to work at every turn to make New York City a place where Black women thrive professionally and enjoy the opportunities they deserve.