NAACP Chairman Emeritus Roslyn M. Brock speaks at The Women’s March on Washington

January 21, 2017


Chairman Roslyn M. Brock speaking at the Women's March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21, 2017

Chairman Roslyn M. Brock speaking at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21, 2017

I’m Roslyn Brock, and I chair the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, an organization whose principal founder was a white woman named Mary White Ovington. The NAACP stands with you today in solidarity, as a nonpartisan organization of over half a million members across the length and breadth of this nation, in 50 states, Germany and Japan, to declare that women’s rights are human rights. We send a message to our new government that we will not stop until women enjoy equal status. Throughout the history of this nation, women have worked to achieve full civil rights and have served as a conscience of this nation.

In 2008, 2012 and 2016, black women exercised the right to vote larger than any other group in this nation. However, despite our best efforts, we learned a hard lesson in this last presidential election. Elections have deep and lasting consequences, especially for those who do not vote. The silence in America has been deafening for black women and our families, who also feel forgotten and locked out of a prosperous society. For centuries, we have been overlooked and most oftentimes left behind, even in the movement to advance women’s rights. And so, I call upon you, my sisters, in the words of my ancestral shero, Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a woman?

As authentic change agents for transformation, we must stand united to oppose the president’s nominees for U.S. attorney general, secretaries of education, health and human services, and labor. We must also fight to ensure that the rights gained by women, minorities, the LGBTQ community and immigrants are not destroyed by an administration that seems bound and determined to take this nation back to a place where we are a house divided against ourselves.

And so, my sisters, I ask you today, as we face the rising sun of a new day begun, let us boldly declare to this administration and to this nation that we will organize, we will fight, and we will march on ’til victory is won, because courage will not skip this generation. Courage will not skip this generation! Courage will not skip this generation! Peace and power!