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March for Black Women, Lena Waithe, and Eliminating the Rape Kit Backlog

September 22, 2017

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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.

1. March for Black Women
Organized by Black Women’s Blueprint, Trans Sistas of Color Project, and Black Youth Project: “On September 30, 2017, Black women in all their diversity will march at the center of the March for Racial Justice in our very own MARCH FOR BLACK WOMEN in Washington, D.C. to denounce the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes.”

2. House Passes Cohen-Maloney Amendment to Secure Additional Funding to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog
Press release from Congresswoman Carolyn B. Mahoney: “‘DNA analysis has been revolutionary in helping catch criminals and prevent further crimes from occurring.  But when evidence is sitting on a shelf somewhere waiting to be tested, that means assailants are still at large and could be assaulting more victims,’ said Congressman Cohen. ‘The backlog of untested rape kits across this country is shameful, and we need to commit the resources necessary to get them tested.  This increased funding will help make that happen.'”

3. Lena Waithe Made History, and She Gave an Emmys Speech for Right Now
Reggie Ugwu for The New York Times: “Ms. Waithe, 33, may have been topical, but her speech took its cues, in part, from a vintage award-show encomium delivered more than 15 years ago. In a telephone interview Monday evening, Ms. Waithe connected her remarks to Halle Berry’s famous, misty-eyed acceptance speech at the 2002 Oscars, when she became the first African-American woman to win the best actress award, for ‘Monster’s Ball.’ Like Ms. Berry, Ms. Waithe connected her win to the multigenerational struggle of African-American women for representational parity onscreen…If that message has gone stale in intervening years…Ms. Waithe said she hopes to revive and expand it for a new era.”

4. Be Her Resource: A Toolkit About School Resource Officers and Girls of Color
A new report from The Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and The National Black Women’s Justice Institute: “As awareness of the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ has increased, concerns have largely centered on boys of color. This toolkit provides a counterpoint to this narrative by focusing on girls of color, who also experience disproportionate contact with school law enforcement compared to their white peers, but have their own, unique story rooted in their gender and race. Given the significant disparities in punitive treatment, it is critical to improve interactions between SROs and girls of color. SROs are often students’ first point of contact with the juvenile legal system, and these officers wield an extraordinary amount of discretion. The result has been a particularly significant impact on the vulnerable populations that are most at risk of being criminalized in schools.”

5. Black and Hispanic Women Lag in Recovering from the Recession
Chandra Childers and Gladys McLean for Institute for Women’s Policy Research: “This fact sheet examines how gender, race, and age together shape the unemployment experiences of young women and girls, aged 16-39, before and after the recession. Results show that the impact of the Recession differed considerably for women based on age, race, and ethnicity and by 2016, the last full calendar year for which data are available, many women and girls had not seen their unemployment rate fall below their 2007 rate.”