AFRO-COLOMBIAN WOMEN:

RESISTANCE AT THE INTERSECTION OF RACISM, SEXISM, AND WAR

Monday, March 27, 2017

This webinar will take a critical look at the situation of Afro-Colombian women to provide an assessment of their reality in contrast with the narrative institutionalized by the Colombian government to purportedly guarantee Afro-Colombian rights, on one hand, and women’s rights, on the other. We will discuss the “prevailing” understanding of Afro-Colombian Womanhood in different regions of the country, in order to establish possible links between those narratives and connotations and the high rates and particular forms of violence resisted by them. The webinar will focus on topics such as intersectional discrimination, different facets of intersectional violence in contexts of war and widespread violence; the national government responses; and the reactions by the Afro-Colombian movement, the women's movement, and the growing black women's movement. Furthermore, we will explore similarities between the distinct forms of violence affecting Afro-descendant women in Colombia and the United States, as well as other countries with alarming rates of violence against black and afro-descendant women, such as South Africa and Brazil.

 

"The Status of Afro-Colombian Women" will be co-presented by four Afro-Colombian advocates who are experts on the field or grassroots organizations/Black communities’ council’s leaders. We will possibly count with the participation of an expert from the NGO leading the legal advisory to Afro-Colombian women’s initiatives, Women’s Link. Panelists will include DANNY RAMÍREZ one of the founders of the Faces & Footprints Foundation, in Buenaventura, where she worked on numerous projects to improve the quality of life of young people and women from the port city; MARÍA CÁRDENAS a lawyer and human rights activist with a long history of fighting for reproductive rights in Latin America; DORA VIVANCO Coordinator of the Childhood and Youth Area from the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations (CNOA); and CLARA VALDES of the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations, Gender Equality and Afro-Colombian Women's Rights. The panel will be moderated by SARA FERRER VALENCIA an Afro-Colombian lawyer and human rights advocate currently serving as the Research Fellow at AAPF and CISPS.

Featuring:

10 RESOURCES TO LEARN FROM AND SHARE:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. How is the status of Afro-Colombian women related to U.S. advocacy?

    • The purpose of #HerDreamDeferred and many of AAPF’s movements is to shed light on issues facing Black women and girls that are not getting the attention that they urgently require. In Colombia, Afro-descendant women have historically and continue to be dehumanized and discriminated against resulting in extremely high levels of homicide and sexual violence. Moreover, as exemplified by their exclusion from the recent peace talks, Afro-Colombian women have routinely been largely left out of the decision-making processes that directly affect them, particularly as they relate to the resolving of conflict in recent years. Paralleling the continued marginalization of Black women in US leftists movements, this comes in spite of their continual presence on the front lines of the movement for peace.

  2. What types of challenges do Afro-Colombian women face?

    • Given their status as both a gender and a racial/ethnic minority within Colombia, Afro-descendant women have faced, and continue to face, a number of specific burdens and challenges. Many Afro-Colombian societal norms, specifically those that relate to the relationships between women and men, have operated, in some ways, in an oppositional manner to traditional, more conservative gender norms, endangering the lives of women who are seen to not conform to these norms. This was particularly true in conservative paramilitary-held regions where armed forces often sought to enforce these traditional gender roles through physical and sexual violence.

#SAYHERNAME: AN EVENING OF ARTS & ACTION

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Each act of this powerful performance lifts up the voices and stories of women and girls of color through spoken word, song, and dance. Featuring family members of the victims of police violence, the program pays respect to the lives of their loved ones and others victimized by state violence by encouraging us to say their names out loud. Presented by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and the Hammer Museum, the evening is curated by AAPF Artist-in-Residence, Abby Dobson.  Audience members have the option of attending this program in person in Los Angeles, or watching the event live via streaming.

Curated By:

Abby Dobson is AAPF's Artist-In-Residence. A Sonic Conceptualist Artist, Dobson’s sound is the alchemy of R&B/Soul, jazz, classic pop, gospel, and folk, forging a gem that erases musical boundaries. Abby has performed at venues such as S.O.B's, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, and The Tonight Show (Jay Leno). Her debut CD, "Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On” was released in 2010 to glowing reviews. Abby received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. An independent scholar, Abby’s research interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in the imagination, creation, consumption, and distribution of music. Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Abby creates music to privilege black female voices and highlight the human condition. She is committed to shining her artistic light - volunteering with the African American Policy Forum and the National Organization for Women, NYC Chapter. www.abbydobsonsings.com

10 RESOURCES TO LEARN FROM AND SHARE:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. What is #SayHerName?

    • #SayHerName is a movement in response to silence surrounding the deaths of Black women at the hands of the state. It seeks to shed light on Black women’s experiences of police violence in an effort to support a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice that centers all Black lives equally.

  2. Why do we need #SayHerName?

    • Not only do Black women face many, if not all, of the vulnerabilities that Black men do when it comes to state violence, but they also face additional gender-specific vulnerabilities.

  3. How does #SayHerName contribute to the conversation?

    • Centering Black women in discussions of police violence pulls these conversations away from the idea that addressing police violence means “fixing” individuals and not structural systems of inequality and oppression.

  4. How do Black women’s specific statuses and identities create vulnerabilities?

    • Women of color are frequently economically and socially marginalized, marking them as especially vulnerable to state violence.

  5. What are the specific consequences of Black women’s vulnerabilities?

    • Many Black women are the primary, and sometimes only caretakers in their family, so their deaths have particularly severe impacts on their households and throughout their communities.

  6. How does art fit into the #SayHerName movement?

    • Art allows us to see these women and hear these stories in an accessible and engaging manner.

LATASHA HARLINS AND THE VICTIMIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS

Wednesday, March 30, 2017

In 1991, Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old African American girl, was shot in the head and killed at her local Los Angeles grocery store. Her death, which happened just 13 days after the Rodney King beating, garnered little lasting attention. Black girls continue to be the targets of widespread violence with minimal accountability systems in place. Historian Brenda Stevenson and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, both UCLA professors, discuss how this case illuminates the vulnerability of black girls and how communities can serve and protect them. Co-presented by the Hammer Museum, audience members have the option of attending this program in person in Los Angeles or watching the event live via streaming.

Panelists:

Brenda Stevenson is an American historian specializing in the History of the Southern United States and African American history, particularly slavery, gender, race, and race riots. She is Professor and Nickoll Family Endowed Chair in History and Professor in African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

She is the author of The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the L.A. Riots, which challenged male-centered analyses of U.S. race riots, proposing that the 1992 Los Angeles riot erupted not only as a response to the Rodney King trial, but as a response to an earlier trial that ended with a controversial sentencing of a shopkeeper found guilty of murdering an unarmed Black girl.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia where she was a DuPont Regional Scholar and an Echols Scholar. She also received her M.A. in African American History and her Ph.D. in American History from Yale. Stevenson has served as both Chair of the Departments of History and African American Studies at UCLA. She also has taught at Wesleyan University, Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Occidental College. She is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

Priscilla Ocen is an Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, where she teaches criminal law, family law, and a seminar on race, gender, and the law. Her work examines the relationship between race and gender identities and punishment. Her work also explores the ways in which race, gender, and class interact to render women of color vulnerable to various forms of violence and criminalization. In particular, Ocen’s work draws attention to the ways in which criminalization and incarceration are used to police the reproductive choices of poor women of color. Her work has appeared in academic journals such as the California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the George Washington Law Review and the Du Bois Review as well as popular media outlets such as the Los Angeles Daily JournalEbony, and Al Jazeera

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism, and the law. Her work has been foundational in two fields of study that have come to be known by terms that she coined: Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Crenshaw’s articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa, and South America.

Laura Flanders (Moderator) is a best-selling author and broadcaster. After many years in public and commercial radio, she founded The Laura Flanders Show/GRITtv in 2008 to serve as an online channel for in-depth conversations with forward-thinking people from the worlds of politics, economics, business, and the arts.

11 RESOURCES TO LEARN FROM AND SHARE:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. Who is Latasha Harlins? What happened to her?

    • Latasha Harlins was a 15-year-old girl who was shot by a store owner in 1991 over a carton of orange juice. Latasha brought the carton to the counter and had money in her hand, yet the store owner claimed that she thought Latasha was stealing, throwing a stool at her before shooting her in the back of the head. The judge sentenced the store owner to just five years probation, 400 hours of community service, and funeral expenses for the Harlins family. Few, however, have heard of Latasha Harlins, even though this incident happened shortly after Rodney King.

  2. What are some recent acts of violence against Black women and girls?

    • In two separate occasions over the past six months, store owners/employees who believed that Black women customers were stealing attacked these women in their shops. A J.C. Penney employee in Indiana grabbed a Black girl in a headlock. An owner of a beauty shop kicked and tackled a Black woman and puts her in a chokehold. In both cases, both perpetrators, who were both men and both private citizens, felt the need to violently apprehend Black female bodies.

  3. How does #SayHerName contribute to the conversation?

    • The angry Black woman/girl: Black women and girls are criticized for vocalizing opinions, and being called angry or having an “attitude” is a way to denigrate these opinions.

    • The hyper-sexualized “jezebel”: Black girls find their bodies objectified, often at a young age.

    • The “invincibility” of strength: Black women and girls are likened to being “invincible” and able to put up with more and less “feminine”, as opposed to stereotypes of the “delicacy” or “femininity” of women of other races.

  4. How do these stereotypes contribute to the silence surrounding violence against Black women and girls? Aren’t some stereotypes “positive”?

    • The angry Black woman/girl: There is a notion that because Black women and girls are “angry,” that they have somehow provoked violence or contributed to it.

    • The hyper-sexualized “jezebel”: Because of this inappropriate sexualization of young Black girls and women, they are often subject to victim-blaming. Sexual harassment and sexual assault of Black girls are also downplayed as a result. Historically, Black women were considered “unrapeable” and this stereotype was used to justify that contention.

    • The “invincibility” of strength: Black women and girls’ humanity is not recognized and people take their labor for granted. Furthermore, low rates of mental health treatment, harmful paradigms of what constitutes abuse and little funding or advocacy work to provide survivors with safety and the treatment they need.

  5. What are the consequences of these stereotypes on Black women and girls?

    • These stereotypes not only affect the way society sees Black women and girls, but can also have an impact on individuals’ behaviors and perceptions of themselves.

THE NOT SO SILVER SCREEN:

BLACK WOMEN IN THE MEDIA

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The widespread coverage of race and gender inequality in Hollywood often excludes Black women. The wage gap for black women in the entertainment industry is a symptom of a larger issue: the invisibility and devaluing of Black women in media culture as performers, producers, and directors. Kimberlé Crenshaw moderates a panel exploring this narrative alongside solutions to promote Black women as creators. Co-presented by the Hammer Museum, audience members have the option of attending this program in person in Los Angeles, or watching the event live via streaming.

Panelists:

Diahann Carroll is the consummate entertainer. So varied and dynamic are her gifts that she continually astounds fans and critics alike with her versatility and magnetism. She is one of America’s major performing talents appearing in nightclubs, the Broadway stage, a Las Vegas headliner, in motion pictures and television. Diahann Carroll is a Tony Award winner, an Emmy and Grammy nominee, a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar nominee.

Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd is a Hollywood Casting Director, Producer, and Owner of In The Twink Of an Eye Productions. During her 24 years in the industry, she has collaborated with major studios including Fox Searchlight, Sony/Screen Gems, Lifetime TV, BET, CodeBlack/LionsGate and I.M. Global.

LisaGay Hamilton is an American director, and film, television, and theater actress known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice. Her theater credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Henry IV Parts I & II (Lady Hotspur), Athol Fugard’s, Valley Song and The Ohio State Murders. Hamilton was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean.

Tonya Pinkins is an American television, film, and theater actress and author known for her portrayal of Livia Frye on the soap opera All My Children and for her roles on Broadway. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards, and has won the Obie, 2 Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, AUDLECO, Garland, L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent and NAACP Theater Awards. She has been nominated for the Olivier, Helen Hayes, Noel, Joseph Jefferson, NAACP Image, Soap Opera Digest and Ovation awards. She won the Tony for Jelly's Last Jam.

Gina Prince-Bythewood is an American film director and screenwriter. She is known for directing and producing the films Disappearing Acts, Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond the Lights.

April Reign is a lawyer and the Managing Editor of Broadway Black. As the Creator of the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, April Reign challenges the lack of representation of marginalized communities in Hollywood and beyond. Reign sustains a movement that has resulted in the most systemic change ever seen in the over 80-year history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts

Kristen Warner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication and Film at The University of Alabama. Her research interests are centered at the juxtaposition of televisual racial representation and its place within the media industries, particularly within the practice of casting. Warner’s work can be found in Television and New Media and Camera Obscura. She is also the author of the forthcoming book entitled The Cultural Politics of Colorblind TV Casting (Routledge, Summer 2015).

10 Resources to Learn from and Share:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. How are Black women represented in the media?

    • Representation of Black women in media is not only disproportionately sparse, but when it does occur it is often disparaging or based in negative stereotypes:

    • According to an Essence study, "typical" portrayals include: Gold Diggers, Modern Jezebels, Baby Mamas, Uneducated Sisters, Ratchet Women, Angry Black Women, Mean Black Girls, Unhealthy Black Women, and Black Barbies.

  2. How many Black women are represented in movies?

    • Fewer than 50 of the 250 box office releases by Dec. ‘13 featured a Black woman in a leading or supporting role. Among the top 10 grossing movies, only Star Trek into Darkness featured a Black woman.

    • The percentage of female characters in films who are Black is also falling, at just 11% in 2015, down from 14% in 2013 and 15% in 2002.

  3. How many Black women produce content in the media?

    • The number of Black women producing content through traditional media channels (film, tv, news) is disproportionately low. For example, Just 2.19% of daily newspaper employees are Black women.

  4. Do Black women have more opportunities for representation in new media?

    • New opportunities exist in less traditional media platforms, particularly in digital media (Black Twitter for instance), where Black women have risen as media creators and seem likely to continue to do so.

  5. What are the consequences of these stereotypes on Black women and girls?

    • These stereotypes not only affect the way society sees Black women and girls, but can also have an impact on individuals’ behaviors and perceptions of themselves.

THE NEW FRONTIER: BLACK WOMEN AND TECH ACTIVISM

Friday, March 31, 2017

Last year, Disney released Hidden Figures, a feature length film that beautifully captured the real-life herstories of black women engineers at NASA in the 1960s. In spite of facing both racial and gender discrimination, these women, embodied the American hero archetype, advocating on behalf of their people while advancing the national agenda. However, as the title of the film suggests, these women were hidden from view and their contributions to the space program were largely ignored. Today, a similar situation unfolds in tech. Black women are a major component of the tech boom and routinely use their skillsets to both develop emerging markets and create innovative solutions for public safety. Yet, like their predecessors at NASA, these women, and their work, often goes unnoticed. Join us for a panel discussion with black women technologists on tech advocacy, talent pipelines for girls and women of color, and opportunities to connect social justice and technology silos. 

Panelists: 

Kelley Nayo Jahi is the owner of Nayo Partners (www.nayopartners.com) specializing in business management for creatives and visionaries.  Her clients include Uptima Business Bootcamp, Jahi of PE 2.0, The Women of VIBE, and Qeyno Labs, where she serves as Chief Operating Officer.   Qeyno Labs (www.qeyno.com)  is an Oakland-based inclusive innovation company, committed to transforming children’s lives and giving them the power to transform their worlds through social innovation, education, and technology.  Since 2014, Qeyno has been offering Hackathon Academies, the flagship 3-day school that prepares high potential youth in low opportunity settings to become next-generation developers, designers, innovators in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Ms. Nayo is also the lead organizer for the Qeyno initiative Tech EQuity Week (www.teqweek.com), a national celebration that shines a spotlight on organizations focused on deepening and promoting a more equitable tech ecosystem. Ms. Nayo lives in Oakland with her family.

Samantha Broxton has done everything from originating and managing multi-million dollar commercial loans to data analytics, and even leading a failed internet start-up. She received her B.S. degree in Finance from the University of South Florida and M.A. in Human Services from Liberty University. Samantha is currently an Enterprise Projects Manager for a global fortune 500 subsidiary in sunny Southern California. Passionate about social entrepreneurship, creativity, and narrative; Samantha also moonlights as blogger, candid/street photographer, Black Girls Code community outreach volunteer, StartingBloc Entrepreneurial Fellow, and TEDxCrenshaw event committee storyteller.

Angie Colman is an entrepreneur and problem solver with a soft spot for tech, social justice, and empathy-led design. Her background is in history and tech. She is currently living and working in Oakland as the founder of Reboot Safety, an Oakland non-profit that brings together technologists and policy think-tanks to build public safety solutions. Think of Reboot Safety as the action to existing research and discourse. Previously she's worked as an Engineer Team Support Coordinator at Dropbox, the Developer Relations Manager at Zendesk, interim CEO for BASA Delivery, and an Account Manager at CodeHS. Angie spends her time taking photographs, prototyping solutions, teaching herself everything, and musing about life (usually on Medium).

Amy Cliett’s extensive background in operations management, recruiting, and training paved the way for her work in streamlining innovative processes for large organizations and startups. Since 2014, Amy has been a hacktivist in the tech inclusion and diversity in STEAM fields movement.  

As Program Director at Qeyno Labs, she helps to unleash a bold new generation of change, working to transform the lives of high potential, low opportunity youth and their families by making them powerful through social innovation, education, and technology. At TechGirlz, as the National Outreach Manager, Amy focuses on reducing the gender gap in technology occupations, by focusing on girls at the crucial middle school age. TechGirlz offers free workshops to get girls interested in different kinds of technology, show them varied career options, and connect them with professionals in technology fields.

Amy is also an Organizer for Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. How are Black women represented in tech companies?

    • As of 2015, only 14 Black women worked at Twitter, which has around 3,000 employees. Other tech giants such as Microsoft (687 of 60,961 employees), Google (250 of 32,527) and Facebook (29 of 5,479) fare little better all hiring Black women as only 1% of their workforce.

  2. How are Black women represented in tech startups? Only 4% of women-led tech startups are led by Black women (88 total)

    • Only 11 startups led by Black women have been funded for more than $1 million by outside investors. Moreover, these 11 are largely funded by the same three investors.

  3. What does Black women leadership and initiative look like? Of the more than 10,000 venture deals minted between 2012 and 2014, only 24 (.2%) involved Black women as founders.

    • Only one Black woman, Kesha Cash, is the head of her own venture capital firm. Beyond that, only three to four Black women are venture partners.

    • Ursula Burns resigned as CEO of Xerox in January. She was the only African American woman to head a Fortune 500 company.

    • African-American women made up just 1.5% of senior-level executives in the private sector in 2014.

  4. Why do we need to talk about Black women entrepreneurs?

    • The number of Black women-owned businesses has more than tripled since 1997, making Black females the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Black women-owned businesses grew by 67.5%, according to the National Women’s Business Council's Survey of Business Owners. (For comparison: white women-owned businesses increased by 10.1% within that same timeframe).

info@aapf.org   |  (212) 854-3049  |  435 West 116th Street New York, NY 10027

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