This article is over 7 years old


Panel Explores How Women Fit Into ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement

Panelists say talking about black women’s issues can also provide a space for others within that larger group.



To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

The panel discusses how women’s issues fit within the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter was started in 2012 by a group of women. The social justice movement came in response to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Activists mobilized after George Zimmerman, the white neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Martin, was acquitted of all charges.

But as the high-profile deaths of unarmed black men captured the national attention, the women have fallen out of the spotlight. Rachel Quinn is an assistant professor of comparative cultural studies at the University of Houston. She says this mimics what happened to female activists during the Civil Rights era.

“We have to be asking those questions,” Quinn says. “Where were women, and how were women uniquely impacted?”

Quinn says when people think of high incarceration rates or police brutality, they may not realize that black women are also impacted. That’s why some panelists say it’s important for women to be willing to share their stories. Shekira Dennis is cofounder of the Houston Justice Coalition.

“You know, if you want to be a part of a conversation, be honest,” Dennis says. “Say, ‘you know what, this is what I’ve been dealing with,’ and that doesn’t happen as often. We’re expecting everyone to have this sensitivity and this consciousness to what we go through. However, we have to be willing to give of ourselves as well.”

Panelists say talking about black women’s issues can also provide a space for others within that larger group. Take for example the LGBT community. Tiffany Ross is with Mental Health America. She says they need to be included as well.

“We just can’t forget our trans sisters in these conversations, and we need to bring them to the table and also recognize that they are also going through similar things as black women as well,” Ross says.

Ross says saying ‘black women’s lives matter’ doesn’t detract from the larger movement, but simply introduces new ideas.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.