In these turbulent times, I wanted to share with you our statement of support for all who are experiencing pain. We are committed to making our country what it should be: equal for all.
June 2, 2020 —
ERA Coalition Calls on Americans to Support Equality for All
American women know the deadly impact of bias in law enforcement: too many have lost their lives because of the failure of police to respond to, or take seriously, gender-based violence. And too many women, like Breonna Taylor, have been killed by police.
The events of the past weeks have led the ERA Coalition and its sister organization, the Fund for Women’s Equality, to take a stand against police brutality and structural racism that allows this brutality to permeate. Our hearts break for George Floyd, his family, and the many others who have been victims of police brutality and racialized violence in recent weeks.
The murder of George Floyd is a tragic reminder of the pervasive racism that has made it impossible for America to achieve meaningful equality for all of its citizens, a struggle that began with the composition of our Constitution 244 years ago. The Founders intentionally left out Black men as well as all women. After nearly two centuries of fighting for the right to vote, women and Black men learned that amendments are merely step one in the battle for voting rights and equality. The struggle continues, long after the ratification of the 15th and 19th amendments
“Until we are all free, we are none of us free,” said Emma Lazarus, the poet whose words on the Statue of Liberty speak to all those “yearning to breathe free.”
Every parent of a Black child in this country has reason to fear for their lives. The #SayHerName campaign has highlighted Black women and girls as young as 7 and as old as 93 who have been killed by the police. Black women have been the backbone of the women’s movement, despite the frustration expressed by many that their issues have not been in the forefront of concern.
The recent spate of racial violence is an opportunity to change that. The policemen who were present at the time of George Floyd’s detainment and death – all of them – must be arrested and held accountable for what the Hennepin County Coroner has deemed a murder. The women’s movement must fight for equality for all Americans if it is to truly achieve equality for all women.
With 38 states having ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), thereby meeting the constitutional requirements for an amendment, we are closer than we have ever been to a constitutional guarantee of non-discrimination on the basis of sex. While the Equal Rights Amendment would make a real difference in the lives of women and girls and as we celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage this year, we see that the women’s vote has not led to sex equality any more than the Black vote has led to racial equality. If we are all to be free, the fight against racism and sexism must be interconnected.
Please join the ERA Coalition as we hold a virtual Town Hall on the ERA and its impact on girls and women of color on June 18th. You can register HERE.
Co-President and CEO