On Monday, January 16th, we celebrated all of the efforts Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for. In 2017, we are still honoring and thanking him, as well as carrying on his fight. Many in the Salem Sate University community of faculty, staff and students have been loud and vocal since November 8th, and won’t stop. It’s not like we haven’t been before, anyway.
According to reference.com, MLK fought for civil rights for “peace, equality and justice, especially for African-Americans and the socially disadvantaged.” He tirelessly put himself on the line for what he believed in through powerful speeches, marches, nonviolent protests, worker strikes, and boycotts. His ideology is that every person deserves civil rights regardless of their race or creed.
Activists these days are still fighting his fight in similar ways, and in some new ways as well. New issues that are being brought to the table are ones that deal with intersectionality:
The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
People have been identifying many ways since the Earth has been spinning. With the current political climate, however, it is being brought to everyone’s attention how ways of identifying can be affected by certain laws being passed – or if we don’t change how some laws affect them now.
This Saturday is the Women’s March on Washington and Salem State University is sending many delegates to the one in Boston. The platform is described as “beautifully intersectional” by the Huffington Post.
“Our liberation is bound in each other’s,” the platform states. “The Women’s March on Washington includes leaders of organizations and communities that have been building the foundation for social progress for generations. We welcome vibrant collaboration and honor the legacy of the movements before us.”
The platform also recognizes rockin’ intersectional feminist ladies of history, including: abolitionist Harriet Tubman, civil rights activists Ella Baker and Angela Davis, Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation Wilma Mankiller, LGBTQ activist Sylvia Rivera, and iconic women’s rights leaders including bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Audre Lorde and Malala Yousafzai.
There never has been, but one thing that 2017 has brought to light is that there is not merely one way to identify. One things that Salem State University has taught us this year is that anyone can make their voice heard and that it is possible to fight for that voice. There have been numerous peaceful marches, social media campaigns, conferences, forums, panels, discussions, guerrilla campaigns, and more over the past semester.
Want to get involved? Here are some ways that you can join in:
Also, the Women’s Leadership Conference is on Monday, March 6th. Make HERStory with us!