(PART 13) UNDER THE BLACKLIGHT:
From the Base to the Face of the Democratic Party:
Kamala Harris, Black Women & Misogynoir in the 2020 Election
Barbara R. Arnwine is president & founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Currently, she also serves as Co-Chair and Facilitator of the National Commission for Voter Justice, the Millennial Votes Matters Convenings and the Voting Rights Alliance. She was the head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law from February 1989 until June 2015 and holds the honorific title of President Emeritus. She also created the legendary Voting Rights “Map of Shame” in 2011, which exposed the new modern wave of voter suppression in the states. Her groundbreaking civil rights and human rights advocacy has been honored with many prestigious awards. She is the radio host of Igniting Change and is a regular presence in the national media, and is often quoted in the press.
Donna Brazile is a veteran Democratic political strategist, adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. She is currently on the board of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
State Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx is the first African American woman to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – the second largest prosecutor’s office in the country. Kim took office on December 1, 2016, with a vision for transforming the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office into a fairer, more forward-thinking agency focused on rebuilding the public trust, promoting transparency, and being proactive in making all communities safe.
As Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim has undertaken substantial criminal justice reforms focused on public safety and equity. Additionally, Kim is the first and only prosecutor in the country to make felony case-level data available to the public. The open data portal provides unprecedented access and transparency into the work of a prosecutor’s office. Her goal is to make Cook County the most transparent prosecutor’s office in the country. Kim served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for 12 years and was also a guardian ad litem, where she worked as an attorney advocating for children navigating the child welfare system. Prior to being elected State’s Attorney, Kim served as Chief of Staff for the Cook County Board President, where she was the lead architect of the county’s criminal justice reform agenda to address racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.
Elected in November 2018 to her fifteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives with more than 70 percent of the vote in the 43rd Congressional District of California, Congresswoman Waters represents a large part of South Los Angeles including the communities of Westchester, Playa Del Rey, and Watts and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County comprised of Lennox, West Athens, West Carson, Harbor Gateway and El Camino Village. The 43rd District also includes the diverse cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita and Torrance.
Congresswoman Waters made history as the first woman and first African American Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. An integral member of Congressional Democratic Leadership, Congresswoman Waters serves as a member of the Steering & Policy Committee and is the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and member and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Kirsten West Savali is an executive producer at ESSENCE Magazine, most recently serving as the magazine’s senior editor of News & Politics. As both a writer and cultural critic, her commentary explores the intersections of race, social justice, feminism, and politics. She is the recipient of the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence which honors exemplary reporting on Black life in America and an NABJ Award for Journalistic Excellence. She was also named to EBONY Magazine's 'Power 100’ List, and was awarded a John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship for her work focusing on criminal justice.