EVENT: Listening Session to Discuss NC’s Changing Feminist Policy Landscape

Police violence against black and brown bodies and the global pandemic are parallel plagues across this nation. For many of us, working at the intersections of multiple crises is not a new task. However, these new and more uncertain times have exposed the fault lines of just how broken things are, leaving so many questions to consider. It also exposes how ready we are for change.

What is the role of the feminist movement in addressing structural and institutional racism? What are the vulnerabilities in our diverse community of NC women? Why is front line work so gendered? What does it mean if childcare fails? The Atlantic has described this pandemic as a “disaster for feminism” and we agree that this public health crisis has had a significant impact on family life, especially for women. Additionally, the pandemic has exposed, for the first time for many folks, the reality of what Mikki Kendall calls “Hood Feminism”, the feminism of women for whom there is a constant thought and effort to secure safe and sustainable housing, decent available food, good schools, and equitable instruction.

These are the musings of my mind; we want to know what’s on yours. What are your NCWU member organizations seeing as the impacts of the pandemic and public health crisis on your stakeholders? What would a women’s agenda for NC’s COVID recovery look like? Other states are starting to publish similar recommendations–see the Hawaii Women’s Commission proposal or this op-ed from California’s Rep. Jackie Speier. We’re interested in compiling a similar effort for our state. Ideally, this would be a reflection of your evolving policy priorities for the legislature as you are witnessing and experiencing the impacts of the pandemic on your stakeholders. This could either take the form of an addendum to our 2019-2020 legislative agenda, or a discrete product such as the Hawaii example. Please share your ideas and reactions with our policy director Lyric Thompson at lyrict@gmail.com, which she will curate in a running list that we can discuss as an NCWU community on a Zoom call on June 23rd at 4 p.m.

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