OPINION: We Must Continue Lifting the Voice of Every Womxn

by Shasti Conrad

In 2020, we saw people across the country make their voices heard with an urgency America hasn’t witnessed in decades. We marched in cities from coast to coast to express the need for social justice in our country. We advocated for change, pushing for more equity and inclusion.

The core of our chorus in protest after protest, “Black Lives Matter,” is a demand for action — an insistent call to finally tend to the overdue work of elevating Black voices and centering Black experiences. 

That call was heeded at the ballot box here in Washington State, with more Black candidates elected than ever before.

Now that we have transitioned into 2021, it is more important than ever to keep building that momentum beyond electoral politics. We must continue to lift our voices and advocate for change throughout our society. 

At the Opportunity Leadership Network (OLN), that’s what we’re doing: Our mission is to make an investment in organizations led by Womxn of Color as a means to help facilitate a more equitable Washington. As the next step down that path, OLN created “I’m Every Womxn: An Opportunity Washington Benefit Concert.”

Featuring 10-time Grammy-winning artist Chaka Khan and hosted by Angela Poe Russell (co-host of Evening on KING 5), “I’m Every Womxn” is a celebration of Black performers, dancers, and musicians that will help raise funds for nonprofits statewide that advocate for racial justice and are led by Womxn of Color. 

Airing on KONG TV at 9 p.m. on Feb. 27, “I’m Every Womxn,” also features Andra Day who stars in the upcoming Hulu film The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Fantastic Negrito, Tank from Tank and the Bangas, and local artists Parisalexa, Lady A, and Stephanie Anne Johnson. It also features messages of support from Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, as well as Macklemore. 

In addition to these performances, the evening will highlight the work of several nonprofits that advocate for BIPOC womxn: Phenomenal She, the Lavender Rights Project, and the Carl Maxey Center.

While this event celebrates Black performers and Black nonprofits, everyone is invited to enjoy the moment, because a more equitable Washington is only possible if we all do our part. 

OLN has a vision that leadership structures across the country will reflect the communities they serve, which means BIPOC womxn must be elevated to leadership positions. And in order to do that, we need to spread the word and generate the grassroots support these organizations need to affect real systemic change. 

Will you help OLN in its mission to elevate BIPOC womxn? We need people to tune in and donate if you enjoy the show. “I’m Every Womxn” was created to uplift and inspire. We want to elevate the voices of Womxn of Color in our efforts to overcome systemic racism, and donations are vital to achieving those goals.

After a long, hard year in 2020, we all deserve a chance to celebrate the progress we’re making together. Tune in on Feb. 27. Enjoy the show. Help us raise the necessary awareness and funds. 

We have an opportunity to do something special. Join us. Learn more at opportunityln.com.

Shasti Conrad is the first WOC chair for the Martin Luther King County Democrats in Washington State, the fourth-largest county party organization in the country. In 2020, Shasti founded two organizations — Opportunity PAC and CTRL Z. Among her other credentials are serving as a senior staff assistant in the White House during the first term of the Obama administration and as a briefings manager on the 2012 campaign.

Featured image by Susan Fried.

Before you move on to the next story …

The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With around 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible.

If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn’t have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference.

We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!

Leave a Reply