The Courage of Women’s Resistance and Vision: We Dare to Dream Beyond the Struggle | International Women’s Day 2016

Today on International Women’s Day/ International Working Women’s Day, the words of Audre Lorde sound loudly in our hearts: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” We the women of AF3IRM declare now more than ever the power and absolute necessity of a dedication to women’s resistance and purposeful collective vision!

We know that as transnational feminists, as women of color, as women alive today in the United States, our very existence is a threat to those who hold patriarchy, white supremacy, and imperialist capitalism close. We know that we must come together to not only resist the attacks on our lives and communities, but to be purposeful in the visions we wish to manifest.

We have to ask ourselves: what does it mean to be a transnational/ woman of color in today’s world? It means we take each day as a deliberate step towards freedom. It means we do the difficult work of combating the violence inflicted upon us and the misogyny and street harassment women face every day. We fight to have our voices heard and reclaim and tell our histories in the face of erasure and forced silence. We face the fear of our children being targets of police brutality and trafficking and we raise our children to stand up for justice and build our chosen families that support each other. We are vigilant and critical of our governments because we know all too well the long arch of justice and the selective memory of those in power – we’ve seen it in the fight for justice for the comfort women of World War II in the face of revisionist history and denial, in the battles for abortion rights and reproductive justice more than forty years after Roe v. Wade, in the lack of answers around the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women and black women that go unanswered.

It means that we draw strength and power from the women who have come before us and the women and allies we are privileged to meet and share space with. It means we remember Berta Carceras, the indigenous rights activist recently assassinated in Honduras.  It means we celebrate the victories of the different movements working towards justice and liberation – such as the Q’eqchi women who won a historic victory in Guatemala’s Sepur Zarco case that declared the rape and sexual violence inflicted upon them in the 1980s as crimes against humanity. It means we build resources and share skills within and across borders with other women, such as in our work with #JusticeNotCharity. It means that we create space for us women that emphasizes our revolutionary spirit and resistance and which allows us to imagine what our liberation looks like. For the second year in a row, AF3IRM put together the largest march/rally for International Women’s Day in the country. This past Sunday we filled the streets of Los Angeles with our voices, our songs, and our bodies and with the absolute knowledge that liberation is possible.

As transnational/women of color we know must sustain ourselves – not just by fighting against the attacks but by also declaring and claiming the futures we seek. We must continue to fill each space we encounter with our beautiful and powerful creative and critical resistance. We must exercise our radial imagination in the face of extinction – daring to put forth a vision of women’s power and liberation and of lives filled with dignity. As AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid states, “Survival has made us strong but being able to dream in the face of subjugation makes us truly courageous.” We have glimpsed the possibilities and we have spoken them aloud. There is no turning back. There is no end until liberation is ours.

Join AF3IRM today and every day as we draw courage from our resistance and vision and as we choose to fight for our freedom.

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