A Letter from Mass NOW’s President
Dear Mass NOW Community,
When I last wrote to you, the Mass NOW board called for the resignation of Toni Van Pelt, National NOW’s President due to accounts of her racist and disturbing behavior towards women of color. Since then, we have continued to push for accountability and Toni’s resignation. Meanwhile, more NOW chapters are calling for Toni to resign – and more women have come forward to share their own accounts of Toni’s hostile, racist behavior.
I am heartbroken to share that despite 24 of the 36 state chapters and 70+ former NOW leaders calling for Toni’s removal, we have been unable to convince the 12 National NOW board members needed to vote to remove Toni from her role as President. If you would like to join us in asking Toni to resign you can our district’s remaining board member, Myra Terry, who still is not convinced of the need for Toni’s removal at email@example.com.
This fight is not over. We, who have called for Toni’s removal, are the majority. The pandemic catalyzed state chapters to organize together and we know this is only the beginning of what is possible with a reenergized grassroots collaboration. Mass NOW is not walking away from our work to dismantle white feminism with NOW. For the first time in years the board will attend the upcoming National NOW Elections Conference, tentatively scheduled September 11-13, 2020 virtually for the first time ever. We hope you join us! We are incredibly thankful to the state presidents who’ve been working tirelessly on the virtual conferencing proposal, presented and approved by the National NOW board just this past week.
Now, and into the future, we must continue to show up for racial justice and dismantle white feminism, both inside and outside of NOW.
That means showing up in solidarity for Black Transgender women and co-sponsoring and supporting the Trans Vigil and March held in Boston earlier this Pride month. That means fighting for menstrual equity and an end to period poverty in Massachusetts and standing in solidarity with Black nonprofits and businesses in wellness and menstrual health spaces. This means commemorating Juneteenth and taking action to unlearn racism every single day. And that means advocating for an equitable, just response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a response that centers those most impacted such as low-wage workers, immigrants, and Black and Latinx communities.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and we are happy to talk more. If you would like to share your thoughts anonymously, here is an anonymous form to share your feedback on how Mass NOW can center racial justice in our work.
Thank you for being with us in this fight.
In feminist solidarity,
Mass NOW President
Print Ain’t Dead: Black Feminist Study Hall
Print Ain’t Dead, Boston’s first pop-up bookstore / literary society by queer Black femmes and Mass NOW’s 2019 Feminism in Action Grantee, is hosting a Black Feminist Study Hall event on Saturday, June 27th. The Black Feminist Study Hall is an exploratory working group / political education initiative grounded in study, citation, and conversation. Black Feminism is one of the most important theoretical frameworks and political analyses we have in the struggle for collective liberation.
RSVP for their event here and be sure to follow them on Instagram @Print.Aint.Dead.
Note: This event is open to everyone – but please recognize that the space is made for / centering women of color, and specifically Black women.
WGBH and the City of Boston present a lunchtime discussion on American Experience’s The Vote (Virtual)
Join the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement and American Experience on Tuesday June 30, 2020 12:00 PM–1:00 PM as they co-present an important and timely conversation around the upcoming film The Vote! Register here!
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote. One hundred years later, we remember these unsung Black and white heroines and their unwavering courage as they battled controversies surrounding the role of women and race in society.
- Sasha Goodfriend, President of MA Chapter of the National Women’s Organization, Chair of Mass LGBTQ Youth Commission, and involved with Suffrage100MA
- Martha Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University and author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (2009) and Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020).
- Tanisha Sullivan, President of NAACP Boston
Callie Crossley, host of WGBH’s Under the Radar and Basic Black, and our event moderator
Upcoming Mass NOW Programming
Mass NOW is continuing to convene our members virtually throughout the summer to take action. We hope you can join us for some of these remote events.
- NOW Meet Up: LGBTQ+ Awareness recognizing Pride Month – Monday June 29, 6-7:00 PM ET, on Zoom
- Consciousness Raising: Dismantling White Feminism within NOW – Tuesday, June 30th, 6 PM – 8 PM ET, on Zoom
- Sex Education as Health Care – Thursday, July 9th, 6 PM – 7:30 PM ET, on Zoom