FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Writer, African American Policy Forum
KIMBERLE CRENSHAW AWARDED EXCEPTIONAL MERIT IN MEDIA AWARD FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED, “THE GIRLS OBAMA FORGOT”
New York, New York -- May 16, 2016 -- The African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies are pleased to announce that Executive Director Kimberle Crenshaw has been recognized by the National Women’s Political Caucus with the Exceptional Merit in Media Award (EMMA) for her New York Times op-ed, “The Girls Obama Forgot.” The EMMA is awarded annually to media that “inform and educate the public about critical issues that impact women’s lives.” Crenshaw contributed the column as part of #WhyWeCantWait, a research and activism campaign elevating the life experiences of women and girls of color and pushing for the incorporation of gender in racial justice initiatives like My Brother's Keeper.
The Award "truly reflects Kimberle Crenshaw’s boldness and commitment to racial justice,” commented author and professor Kiese Laymon. “After all, the White House's recent attention to Black women and girls grew out of a political strategy developed and brilliantly executed by a group of cultural workers and activists led by Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum. We thank Kimberle for her leadership in making our nation’s leaders reckon with their lack of investment in Black women and girls."
Adds philanthropic strategist Alvin Starks: “Many of us were unaware or unwilling to speak about the injustices facing Black women and girls, but now we are better able to envision a social justice movement that includes and demands their presence."
The op-ed, published July 29, 2014, was part of a broad-based intersectional political agenda galvanized by prominent Black feminists and advocates of all races and genders. Activists released open letters to President Obama, organized town hall hearings for women and girls of color to share their stories, organized a Congressional Briefing, and more, in an effort to realign racial justice initiatives like My Brother's Keeper to reflect values of inclusion, equal opportunity and shared fate.
Crenshaw's "leadership and courage have been instrumental in changing the landscape, discourse and direction for 'the girls Obama forgot,'" states playwright and activist Eve Ensler. "And I think we are all deepening our understanding and active practice of solidarity as a result."
Crenshaw acknowledges many others at the forefront of efforts to call on the White House to include women and girls in their campaign to redress the racial opportunity gap, including Laymon, Starks and Ensler, as well as Luke Harris, Mary Frances Berry, Terry O’Neill, Jody Myrum, Jennifer Buffett, Peter Buffett and Pamela Shifman.
Civil rights leader Barbara Arnwine, of the Transformative Justice Coalition, described by Crenshaw as "an inspirational ally," accepted the award on her behalf. Arnwine's remarks applauded Crenshaw as "a woman of great courage motivated by a deep love for women and girls of color." Going forward, "we know that she will continue to be on the front lines speaking the truths of Black feminism.”
“The Girls Obama Forgot” can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/opinion/Kimberl-Williams-Crenshaw-My-Brothers-Keeper-Ignores-Young-Black-Women.html?_r=0
More information on AAPF’s advocacy for women and girls of color can be found on our website, aapf.org.