Celebrating Black-Led Organizations
February 8, 2022
A message from Deborah J. Vagins, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) President and CEO:
February is Black History Month, and NNEDV is honored to collaborate with a number of Black-led organizations, including those working to support Black survivors of domestic violence. This month, we wanted to lift up these incredible organizations.
Historically, the domestic violence movement has not centered the voices and needs of Black survivors and, in many instances, has advocated for practices and policies that have caused serious, lasting harm to Black survivors and other survivors of color. Reliance on the criminal justice system has disproportionately impacted Black communities and perpetuated cycles of violence rather than ending them. There is more work to be done. We must center the voices of those who have been marginalized by racism and other discrimination in our movement, including advocating for expanded avenues to justice that focus on victim autonomy and safety, along with investments in responses beyond a criminal system.
NNEDV is committed to working for change within our movement and our organization—learning, creating space, and following the lead of Black survivors and advocates. We encourage everyone to learn about, follow, and support these and other organizations—not just in February, but all year long.
Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB)
“For 10 years, Black Women’s Blueprint has mobilized for our community. We are proud as a survivor led-organization to have implemented programs that promote gender justice, racial healing, reproductive health, and reconciliation. Our work is rooted in the belief that our collective survival depends on our collective action.” (Read more.)
Since 2008, Black Women’s Blueprint has been striving to co-create a vibrant and safe community where women and all people can live lives of sovereignty and dignity by fostering human connection and forging paths to peace, holistic reconciliation, and social, economic, and environmental justice. NNEDV has partnered with Black Women’s Blueprint since 2020, including efforts to update our Positively Safe training materials and resources in order to highlight racial disparities and cultural differences for domestic violence survivors living with HIV.
“We envision a world in which we can all live in human dignity with equal protections regardless of illness, disability, race, sex, class, sexual or gender identity or other cultural, social, political, economic or geographic distinctions.” (Read more.)
SisterLove, Inc., was founded in July of 1989 as a volunteer group of women interested in educating Atlanta, and especially communities of women, about HIV prevention, self-help and safer sex techniques. In 2010, SisterLove’s Founder & CEO, Dázon Dixon Diallo, joined our DV & HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee to assist with the development of our Positively Safe Project and was one of Positively Safe’s pilot programs for rolling out the curriculum. Today, SisterLove and NNEDV work together to develop content and materials on social determinants of health and health equity.
Ujima: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
“The Vision of The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community is to create a world where Black women and girls live free from violence.” (Read more.)
Named for the Kwanzaa Principle meaning “collective work and responsibility,” Ujima was launched in 2016 and serves as a national, culturally specific services issue resource center to provide support to and be a voice for the Black community in response to domestic, sexual, and community violence. We’re grateful to have worked with Ujima for several years as one of our culturally specific technical assistance partners, to have collaborated in our programmatic and policy work, and to have joined together on numerous panels, briefings, roundtables, and on our Economic Justice and Domestic Violence Advisory Council.
Women of Color Network, Inc. (WOCN)
“The mission of WOCN, Inc. is to eliminate violence against ALL women and their communities by centralizing the voices and promoting the leadership of women of color across the Sovereign Nations, the United States and U.S. Territories.” (Read more.)
In 1997, a group of women of color from across the country gathered to establish an entity to address the unique challenges facing women of color advocates and activists within the violence against women movement. NNEDV has been fortunate to work with WOCN on a variety of issues since 2004, including: advancing access to services and resources for survivors of color; helping coalitions and local programs respond to the unique needs of communities of color; and providing trainings on issues impacting women of color, like equitable workplace policies, financial and economic justice, and staff support.
Additionally, as part of our work at the intersections of domestic violence, economic justice, and public policy, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from and partner with a number of other Black-led organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the American Association of University Women. We have been expanding NNEDV’s work on behalf of the long-term economic security of survivors and have recently joined these organizations in their long-standing work to further economic justice.
On behalf of NNEDV, I extend our deep gratitude and appreciation to all of these organizations, their leaders, and everyone working to support Black communities, including Black survivors of domestic violence. Please join us in amplifying and supporting their important work.