The world watched as Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black, first South Asian, and first woman vice president — by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It was an epic intersectional feminist moment — the result of grassroots activism and organizing of many generations of feminists — and a great relief, coming on the heels of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. and the world are ready to move forward to take on the challenges we face.
President Biden’s new orders demonstrate the power communities have to demand change. The flurry of executive orders issued by the new president issued within the first hours of taking office address systemic racism, LGBTQ inequality and the climate crisis. He also took immediate action to extend economic relief and to address the pandemic. Even before taking office, he announced a new White House Council on Gender Policy, an important signal that the Biden-Harris administration is ready to put the U.S. back on the path to progress for all.
As women’s and girls’ foundations, funds and funders, you know that now is the time to redouble your efforts to ensure that the Biden-Harris administration takes an intersectional approach to all of its work.
Your unique role in philanthropy and among your community partners means you bring both local wisdom and global impact to every cross-sector table. Your collective learnings about intersectionality should inform government policies and programs at every level. We look forward to working with you to ensure that the experiences and needs of women and girls — especially women and girls of color — are considered during all decisions, not just when the government is acting on narrowly-defined “women’s issues.”
Surely, the administration is off to a good start, with the most diverse cabinet in history. But bureaucracies are slow to change; racism and sexism are baked into all of our government systems.
Fortunately, you are up to the challenge. Through the continued support and efforts of women’s and girls’ foundations and funds, we will ensure the hope and promise ignited on Inauguration Day becomes reality.
Yours for equity and justice,
Women’s Funding Network
President & CEO