By Ronda Watson Barber
Happy 2018! As you reflect on last year and embark on 2018, what are your goals?
How will you grow your business? How will you exercise political power? How will you empower our community?
Last year, the themes of my columns were “Advocate! Resist!” The political and economic climate required us to take action. We still have major work to do. I am hopeful. The resistance has been successful. We can’t let up. Black women across the country challenged decision makers and made a difference. Black women are politically a powerful force. Black women have had a higher voter turnout rate than any other race-gender subgroup in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
“Black women have been attempting to save America since the dawn of time,” said Democratic strategist Symone D. Sanders in an interview with Newsweek.
In 2017, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, reclaimed her time and demanded answers regarding the financial actions of the President. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris vigorously and with authority questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein during Senate intelligence committee hearings on the Russia investigations. U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson stood up and defended fallen hero U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson and his family. ESPN Sportscaster Jemele Hill boldly called out the racists actions of Donald Trump. Journalists April Ryan and Joy-Ann Reid routinely ask difficult questions and confronted elected officials.
Black women in Alabama exercised their right to vote and prevented an accused child sexual predator from holding a seat in the U.S. Senate. Tarana Burke started the #MeToo movement 10 years before it became the 2017 mantra of women who were sexually harassed or assaulted.
On the local front, Black women too are making a difference. Nana Watson, president of the Columbus branch of the NAACP, is challenging government and local entities to be more inclusive in hiring Black employees and utilizing Black-owned businesses.
Damita Brown (City of Columbus), Terri Wise (Columbus City Schools), Kiana Simmons (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction) and Andrea Quinichett (Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority) are using their talents and voices to improve purchasing opportunities for Black businesses.
We still need to Advocate! Resist! Here’s to 2018. May you live your best life and have a positive impact on others.
Just my thoughts…rwb
Published in OhioMBE – Jan. 1, 2018