A Note From Our Publisher—Lifting Up Women’s Voices

As the publisher of Shelterforce, I am privileged to lead a publication that makes way for many of these voices to be heard

Owning your truth, transforming it into purpose, and saying it out loud is bold. I am a Black woman with the privilege of raising a Black boy, and I wake up every single day terrified for his life. At this very moment, the vulnerability of this statement has me holding my breath. But even during that held breath, there is a push and a desire inside of me to say it anyway. Exhale. The same inclination, despite feeling hopeless, has propelled me to challenge my child’s school administration when disciplinary actions are enforced on my son at a greater rate than on his counterparts.

Like me, there are countless women who are driven to turn up the volume of their voices when faced with unfair circumstances. Some of them take the even bolder and wiser step of then sharing those stories, inspiring others to bring forth change they maybe hadn’t had within them to make before.

As the publisher of Shelterforce, I am privileged to lead a publication that makes way for many of these voices to be heard—individuals across this country who are essential to the transformation of their communities. Fortunately, women—especially women of color—keep stepping up and being responsible for moving communities forward. My insatiable curiosity about knowing these women and their stories brought forth the idea of profiling women fighting on the frontlines of today’s most pressing issues. Luckily, we have great partners like Community Change who share this sentiment and have collaborated with us to present this series, Women of Color on the Frontlines.

For the next couple of weeks, Shelterforce and Community Change will lift up the voices of women who have shared with us their experiences, highs, and lows on their organizing journeys. As you take time to listen to the stories of Donna Price, Idalia Rios, Vy Le, and Cynthia Wiggins, I hope you find yourself in each of these women, and that you are compelled to share your own story with us (@Shelterforce) (@communitychange) and others.

Heard voices change lives.

Schlonn Hawkins

Chief Executive Officer and Publisher

Women of Color on the Front Lines is a video series produced by Shelterforce and Community Change. If you’re enjoying this series, please consider becoming a supporter. We can’t do this work without you.

Schlonn Hawkins is CEO/publisher of Shelterforce. She has more than 15 years of experience in publicity, media training, community relations, and strategic planning.


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