We are living in a time of great hate, denial, erasure, and violence. Now more than ever, we must fight.
Today is International Women’s Day. It’s also a day of striking across several countries in solidarity with the U.S. women who are seeking change for “equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people.” Thus, today has been named A Day Without A Woman.
Each strike calls us to look at who we are, what we do, and what we can and should be doing to act for change. Tithi Bhattacharya and Cinzia Arruzza have presented the intentions behind this strike as intersectional and urgent. Creighton Leigh disagrees, but offers a handy list of 10 urgent actions to complete for Brown and Black women today.
Today, as a White woman and graduate student, I hold the privilege of deciding for myself what my day will entail. This morning as a student, the labor I perform is for me and my benefit. This afternoon as a teacher at a community organization funded externally by a grant, the labor I perform is not static employment but engagement for critical, sociopolitical and historical change. Today, like many days, my privileges provide choice.
I choose to continue learning and engaging towards making change in partnership with strong women and youth from communities that are often silenced and stripped of power in/by STEM because of skin color, wallets, and zip codes. I choose to work in partnership to dismantle structures of power that benefit me now as a White woman but hurt us all in the end, by dividing and conquering us as a nation paralyzed. I choose to fight for my students’ voices and talents and dreams to be heard, honored, and realized. As a great mentor of mine recently stated, “Education is the best ammunition we have.”
For me, today is yet another reminder that I need to continue to learn and grow and put my efforts where they matter—I need to participate more in political work. I need to more fully embrace this fight that we did not ask for. The fight that others without my White privilege have been fighting their entire lives. I need to act, knowing in strength and hope that “our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred.”
Where will you place YOUR efforts today? Where will you stand for justice tomorrow? Where will you fight?