6. On organizing as women of color
Linda: I think just watching the leadership of women at a national level, the voices that are coming out, the fearlessness — I think people ain’t messing around. There are obviously wonderful strong men who are supporting these women activists across the country, and here in New York we have them — but they’re there to work beside us and let us lead.
Dawud: Three of the biggest macro-issues that we as a Muslim community have to address within ourselves are: racism, misogyny, and sectarianism.
Ashley: When we say black lives matter, we mean women, we mean men, we mean trans folks, we mean queer folks, we mean young, old, rich, poor, all black lives matter. And by taking that framing, by taking that approach, and making that really clear, I think it kind of carves out path for some of that oppression — some of that patriarchy — to really be highlighted and stand out and get called out into the forefront when it does happen, so it doesn’t allow it to occur within the shadows and to allow women to be pushed into the back, because, no, women are part of this movement as well, and we’re a large part of this movement. So, when you say all lives matter, and you look up and see no women, then that’s a problem.
Darakshan: I think for women of color — and, of course, our experiences are unique — but I think we really tread this very fine line of saying “Do I have to be a woman today?” And then also my ethnicity and my race, and why am I competing all of them?