Miami activists plan a march to raise the voices of black and immigrant women

Miami activists will join forces at the end of September for a march to bring attention to issues disproportionately affecting minority females.

The March for Black Women, scheduled for Sept. 30, will coincide with the March for Racial Justice happening the same day in Washington, D.C. In Miami, the walk will begin at 10 a.m. in front of what used to be a women’s detention center at 1401 NW Seventh Ave., in Overtown.

March organizers said during a news conference on Thursday that they seek to draw attention to the slew of social problems that affect black women whose voices aren’t being heard. Among the issues: lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, low pay and wage inequality, unavailable affordable housing, lack of representation in the justice system and the higher rate of incarceration for people of color.

“For a long time we have been sitting in the back, out of the conversation about the issues that affect us the most and we won’t allow it anymore”, said Liberty City resident Valencia Gunder, an activist with New Florida Majority. “It is often said that if you are a women, poor and black you have three strikes. We also have a voice, we are voters and we pay taxes.

“Black women have been the backbone of this country from the beginning,” she said. “Don’t’ let anyone tell you different.”

Dorothy Bendross-Mindigall, a Miami-Dade County Public Schools board member, said that she will march on behalf of all women, and especially black women and girls.

“I have been to too many funerals [of kids],” Bendross-Mindigall said in reference to minors who have been killed by gun violence in Miami. “Mostly their skin color and their zip codes prevent them from living in a safe haven.”

Other organizations coordinating the march include the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Power U Center for Social Change, which is led by teenagers.

Marcia Olivo, director of the Miami Workers Center, called on minority communities to raise their voices by joining the march.

“We are calling on immigrant communities to affirm that now is the time to stand beyond solidarity for unity between black and brown communities including Black immigrants,” Olivo said in a statement. “We must take action now more than ever, take a stand to protect Black communities, talk about anti-blackness, and to support Black women. When Black women win, we all win.”

Published by: The Miami Herald

Mariama Gregory