SAY HER NAME COALITION
Black women and girls as young as 7 and as old as 93 have been killed by the police, though we rarely hear their names. Knowing their names is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for lifting up their stories which in turn provides a much clearer view of the wide-ranging circumstances that make Black women’s bodies disproportionately subject to police violence. To lift up their stories, and illuminate police violence against Black women, we need to know who they are, how they lived, and why they suffered at the hands of police.In the wake of the horrendous and untimely death of Oluwatoyin Salua, Ebony Evans and Brittany Oliver held a rally and protest that ignited the need to continue this work beyond public actions. Community oriented and born in Baltimore, I have experienced and witnessed the brutalization against Black women and femmes. Bullying, sexual assault, abuse, interpersonal violence and police brutality toward Black women and femmes run rampant in Baltimore and something must be done. While there are other organizations and collectives that do this work, we hope to be an additional resource and collective that propels the mission to end violence against Black women and femmes within this city and beyond.
Continuing in the matrilineal wisdom of our foremothers; Toni Morrison, Kimberly Crenshaw, Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, and so many more, Say Her Name Coalition continues the work of affirming, empowering, uplifting and fighting for the visibility and livelihood of Black women and femmes. Our work is deeply rooted in black feminist thought, radical self-love, affirming our autonomy and ability to express ourselves outside of a white supremacist system that oppresses our entire existence.
We affirm all aspects of what it means to be Black and woman. We honor and show up in the most true and fullest way we know how. We honor all sexual identities and genders; gender non-conforming,two spirit, femme, LGBTQUAI+ gender fluid and cisgender. Within our work, SHNC seeks to address food justice, economic support, health and mental wellness, policy, sexual wellness, healing, organizing and all ways that seek to transform, inspire and educate Black women and girls.
We seek to smash respectability politics, patriarchal and white supremic systems, mysogynoir and all ways that suggest that we have to present a specific version of ourself to receive respect. We stand in solidarity with sex workers, the working class, and the grassroots organizations that have done this work long before our existence and those that will continue after.