WASHINGTON – Moments ago, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris became the first Black and South Asian woman to serve as Vice President in the country’s history.
Bridget Todd, communications director at UltraViolet PAC, a leading national women’s advocacy organization, released the following statement:
“As now President Biden and Vice President Harris prepare to tackle some of the gravest challenges in our nation’s short history, it is absolutely imperative to remember that women of color, especially Black women, are the reason why a Biden-Harris Administration and Democratic majorities in Congress exist at all.
“Because of the tireless efforts of Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color, we’ve reached a pivotal moment in the United States, where the people can finally begin to conceptualize what dismantling white supremacy means and looks like from the top down.
“The decades-long work and struggles of Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color political organizers, especially in battleground states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, were a driving force behind maintaining a Democratic lead in the House, flipping the Senate and winning the presidency.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, and as awareness of our nation’s violent and ongoing struggles with racial inequity are more apparent than ever, the opportunity to acknowledge this ugliness and redefine our future starts now.
“We look forward to working with members of the incoming administration, including the new White House Council on Gender Policy, to ensure that Biden follows through on his campaign promises to expand healthcare and abortion access, implement policies that fight sexual violence and gender-based discrimination, and rebuild a nation and economy that works for everyone, especially Black women and women of color.”
Specifically, UltraViolet is calling on the Biden Administration to:
Bend the curve on the COVID pandemic in order to keep our loved ones alive and healthy while also rebuilding an economy that ensures women are able to put food on their table, and be home in time to eat it. This means an end to the COVID pandemic through policy that prioritizes the needs of Black, Indigenous and women of color in both ending the public health crisis and re-imagining a feminist economy that works for women. These priorities are grounded in the We Demand More agenda.
Ensure that Black and Indigenous women, as well as women of color, can exist with dignity, free from state-sponsored violence and economic and social oppression. Work to fight against white supremacist patriarchy through a robust set of policies that ends the war on Black women and Black communities. These priorities are grounded in the Movement for Black Lives agenda.
Build a world beyond sexual violence, where all women can thrive. Following the lead of Black and Indigenous survivors, as well as survivors of color we seek to reform not just our legal or healthcare system, but society as a whole to disrupt and end sexual violence, including sexual harassment. These priorities are grounded in the Survivors’ Agenda.
Ensure that women, and especially women of color, are able to fully engage in media conversations. By working to challenge white supremacist assumptions and policies that shape media coverage and social media platform operations, we are working to create media spaces where women can participate free from fear of gender and race-based attacks. While this work does not yet have a set of legislative agenda priorities, we are moving in close collaboration with the Change the Terms Coalition.
Put the priorities of women, starting with women of color, front and center in all legislation put forward by the Biden administration. By ensuring that the administration both sees gender justice as a necessary throughline in all legislation and prioritizes the needs of all women, including fair pay, bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, and freedom from discimination and harassment.