March 8 is International Women’s Day. Beginning in 1909, it was proposed by Alexandra Colontay and Clara Chetkin as a global celebration in 1910 and was officially designated as World Women’s Day by the United Nations every year since 1975.
The origin of World Women’s Day began 109 years ago on March 8, 1908, when 15,000 female textile workers from the United States gathered at Rutgers Square in New York to protest demanding better working conditions and women’s suffrage. Women marched down the street and shouted, “We want bread, but rose, too!” where bread means the right to survive hunger, and roses mean half suffrage and human rights granted only to men. It is the day when female workers woke up with long hours of labor (12-18 hours), dusty workplaces, poor wages, sexual harassment, and unfair treatment.
The first National Women’s Day was declared in the United States on February 28, 1909, and inspired by this, in Europe, Clara Jetkin, a German feminist and socialist, proposed the Women’s Day to promote women’s rights at the International Women’s Workers’ Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in August 1910. As a result, on March 19, 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland held the first “World Women’s Day” event, calling for the right to work, suffrage, and abolition of discrimination.
About International Women’s Day:
The World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 1995. The leaders of the participating countries adopted a declaration promising the conquest of poverty, full employment, and social integration. This is called the Copenhagen Declaration.
After 10 years, we will evaluate the implementation of each country and make a resolution to advance social development. On November 26, 2007, the United Nations enacted World day of Social Justice as it resolved international efforts to conquer poverty, fully employment, social integration, gender equality, and social well-being.
“As we seek to build the world we want, let us intensity our efforts to achieve a more inclusive equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
About World day of social justice:
General assembly passed a resolution on November 26, 2007:
Every year, January 27th is a solemn international celebration called “International Holocaust Remembrance Day”. The Holocaust is a Holocaust committed by Nazi Germany during World War II under the name of racial cleansing. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an anniversary to honor more than 6 million Jewish victims.
In 2005, the United Nations designated the day as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” in time for the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camps (January 27, 1945) in order not to forget the most terrible event in human history.
And every year since then, through memorial ceremonies, the world has been emphasizing the message of peace in memory of the victims of the horrendous massacres in history, including the Holocaust.
About International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
Message from UN Secretary-General:
“Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. She has written for the New York Times and has three books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.”
This is the sixth time a poet has been invited to the inauguration of the U.S. president. The first time Robert Frost, a poet known for “The Road Not Taken,” read a poem at the inauguration of President John Kennedy. Maya Angelou and Miller Williams recited poems during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, and Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco were invited to President Barack Obama’s two inauguration ceremonies. And Gorman, a young American female poet, was invited to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
On the inauguration stage, Gorman, an African-American woman, read a poem titled “The Hill We Climb,” with a bright look for six minutes, and delivered a message to move toward harmony, not division, with various hand gestures, as she spoke with her hands.
“If we have the courage to see the light, the light will always be there.” By Amanda Gorman
If you want to know more about her, visit her website & SNS:
photographed by Stephanie Mitchell.
“The voices of the families, especially the quiet ‘sheroes’ who hold the family together during and after incarceration, are not at the table. Unless we address the criminal injustice system that took the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many more, the just society we talk about will never be more than a pipe dream.”
For over 30 years, Sandra Kay Barnhill, an attorney, has been an activist and national advocate for prisoners, their children and family members, and a champion for reentry services that provide comprehensive support to prisoners so that they can successfully reunite with their families and reintegrate back into the community.
Sandra is the founder and CEO of Foreverfamily, Inc., formerly Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Inc. (AIM), a national nonprofit headquartered in Atlanta that provides direct service programming for children and families affected by parental incarceration. In its three decades, Foreverfamily has provided services to over 35,000 children with a parent in prison.
Sandra’s policy level work in this area has included serving as a speaker and national expert for the 2009 White House Roundtable and Community Forum on Responsible Fatherhood and Strong Communities. She addressed the challenges of reentry for incarcerated fathers and their families and made policy recommendations to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Office of Justice Programs in the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Sandra also served on the Advisory Board of the Council of State Governments Justice Center giving input to their “Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers” report. She has also served as a consultant for the National Institute of Corrections and the Bureau of Prisons, concentrating in the area of gender responsive programming.
Sandra’s pioneering work was recognized by the Ford Foundation when she was selected as one of 18 recipients of their Leadership for a Changing World Award for tackling one of the nation’s most entrenched social problems, getting results and changing lives. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and her B.A. from Georgia State University.
Columbia University’s Summer Teachers & Scholars Institute is holding a panel discussion this evening Wednesday July 11, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM on the challenges the African American Community faces in 2017. The panel discussion is being held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Harlem Silent March. The event is being held on Columbia University’s campus at 612 Schermerhorn Hall on the Morningside Campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Black Girl Magic is currently in full effect as we take the end of Women’s History Month to not only celebrate the relaunch of A Tough Mind & Tender Heart with highlighting young activist, Hülya Miclisse-Polat but to also use it as an opportunity to highlight a woman who identified herself not just as an activist but as an artist as well. Friday, March 24th marked the sixteenth annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference at Spelman College. The room was filled with legacy and if you didn’t leave dripping with inspiration and hope for the future there’s no way you were in the same room as I was. Spelman alumni, family, and friends of Toni Cade Bambara lined the walls to pay homage to her life and work. The theme, “Black Feminisms Arise: Thinking Deep, Talking Loud, & Acting Up” was certainly a call to action to everyone in attendance.
Across generations, artists have been at the forefront of social justice, challenging our intellect and giving us the tools to question the existing social constructs we deem normal or relevant. Toni Cade Bambara was one of these activists. Using her writing and talents as a documentary filmmaker, her and other close friends such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, and Nikki Giovanni introduced to the world what is widely known today, as black women’s literature.
“Our art, protest, dialogue, no longer spring from the impulse to entertain, or to indulge or enlighten the conscience of the enemy; white people, whiteness, or racism; men, maleness, or chauvinism: America or imperialism… depending on your viewpoint and your terror. Our energies now seem to be invested in and are in turn derived from a determination to touch and to unify.” – Toni Cade Bambara
At a time when the acceptance of the African American experience wasn’t widely recognized in American art, the work created by Toni Cade Bambara and other artists of her time, were pivotal in bringing awareness to the everyday injustices of African Americans. In the world of Activism “The Black Intellect” has taken a forefront in the movement of social justice. But have these constructs minimized the legitimacy of who we identify as social changemakers? I was able to sit down at the opening reception with some girls in the Toni Cade Bambara Scholars Writers Activist Program about their experiences within the program. What they had to say about the growing trend of “Stayin’ Woke” and what it means to be an activist today was insightful.
Briana (Guest Writer): How do you feel academia correlates to social justice?
Naomi: A lot of times in these types of settings, what degree you have or what type of academic expertise you have will determine whether people legitimize your activism. Kind of like I said about Respectability Politics if you have a PhD people are going to care more about what you have to say than if you don’t.
Briana (Guest Writer): So, do you feel that the experience of injustices alone, isn’t enough to qualify you as an activist?
Naomi: No, it absolutely would. That’s the issue. Going to school, getting a degree, and getting a couple letters behind your name doesn’t make you any more or less legitimate as an activist.
Kiersten: And that’s so ironic because most social movements that do occur, if not all, are started by people who did not have the privilege to be educated.
Briana (Guest Writer): Do you feel activism is still prevalent to younger generations?
Kiersten: I think it’s cool. It’s the fad right now to be “Woke”. To be liberated. A lot of times the “wokeness” comes out and being a hotep, you know being half woke, is enough and then they stop. But I think you have to liberate yourself from all your oppressions, and not just look at one side of the issue. I hope that it’s becoming more prevalent. But I don’t know if it’s becoming more prevalent because it’s popular or because people actually care.
Naomi: I think young people are involved with activism. Especially for me, I come across this struggle where it’s like I have this knowledge and I have this desire but I just don’t know what to do. I just don’t know how to start. And seeing other people who are really involved with activism is inspiring but at the same time it’s almost like jumping in at double dutch, you’re just not really sure when to hop in. I just don’t know who to go to that will cultivate those desires.
A Tough Mind & Tender Heart began by Sandra Barnhill to highlight the work of various activists across the nation. As we continue the journey of challenging what it means to be an activist and exploring the work of others, we ask that you will join us. If you or someone you know is an activist and would like to have their work featured on our site please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to send us a message.
“Everyday, against incredible odds, women, and men fight the good fight for justice. Yet, beyond the lives they touch, most people will never hear about their work. We need to hear about their work and not just so we can celebrate them and their victories, though we definitely should. We need to hear about their work so that their strategies and approaches to dealing with complex issues can be shared with others who are working on the same, similar, or totally different issues. Their approach to the work can be a catalyst for someone else working on the frontline or someone who has been thinking about doing justice work but needed a “rallying call”.” – Sandra Barnhill
The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College presents its 2nd Biennial $25,000 Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership. The 2013 winners included:
Dalia Association (Ramallah,Palestine)
Language Partners, a project of the Education Justice Project (Illinois, US)
Building Power for Restaurant Workers Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (New York, US)
Welcoming Michigan based in Kalamazoo (Regional Prize)