#IStandWithMaxine: Black Women Leaders Support Congresswoman Maxine Waters

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We, the undersigned, write to express our full support for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who has recently been unjustly attacked by Republicans and Democratic Party leadership for speaking truth to power in challenging the Trump Administration to do the right thing by ending a “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy.  Families seeking asylum from violence in their home countries are held in detention centers at the Mexican border and even worse, this inhumane immigration policy has separated over 2,000 children from their families.

Further, we write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP. That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being “uncivil” and “un-American.” In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families.

 As one of the longest-serving African American women, and the longest-tenured woman of color, in Congress, Representative Waters has dedicated nearly 30 years of her life to federal public service. Prior to that, she was a member of the California State Assembly for 14 years and has made it her life’s work to stand as a fearless advocate for women and unwavering champion for children, people of color and the poor.

Millennials of every race and creed revere Congresswoman Waters, whom they affectionately refer to as “Auntie Maxine.” She has been a foremost catalyst in encouraging a new generation to embrace the Democratic Party as the party that shares their values and speaks to the issues they care about most.  Not supporting Congresswoman Waters hurts the party and threatens to erode an opportunity to continue to grow the Democratic Party with young leaders and voters.

For Black women, who are the most loyal base of the Democratic Party and the Progressive Movement, Congresswoman Waters is our shero. At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, Maxine Waters stands bold and unafraid, serving as a beacon of light and hope, her singular voice, speaking powerfully and urging the nation to the moral high ground of justice.  She continues the phenomenal legacy of leadership of Black women who paved the way for all women to break glass ceilings including Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Yvonne Braithwaite and Cardiss Collins; and civil rights icons---Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Dr. C. Delores Tucker, Reverend Willie Barrow, Mrs. Evelyn Lowery and many more. 

 Much hangs in the balance this fall, with all 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats up for grabs. Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford:  that it does not respect Black women’s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters.

 We call on the Democratic Party leadership to step up and publicly support Congresswoman Waters, who has been receiving death threats for speaking truthfully and boldly in support of immigrant families and challenging the Trump Administration to end their inhumane and immoral policy that has yet to reunite over 2,000 children with their parents and continues to lock up refugees seeking asylum in the United States of America.  We further believe Congresswoman Waters is owed an apology for your public comments insinuating she is “uncivil” and “un-American” for challenging the Trump Administration. 

 As women whose ancestors have lived through the incivility of slavery, segregation, and all other forms of discrimination, racism, and sexism, as people who have historically been told to “wait” for justice, for freedom, for our turn, we consider it an insult to characterize Ms. Waters’ call for the exercise of our constitutional rights as uncivil and un-American.  We call on leaders of all persuasion to practice the art of civil discourse.

 We believe you can make this right.

 We expect, and she deserves your support.

Sincerely,

 Black Women Leaders and Allies

As of July 5, 2018

Jill Abramson, NY
Tina Edwards Akintayo, GA
Rev. Aundreia Alexander, DC
Bobbie Jean Anderson, CA
Faye M. Anderson, PA
Honorable Angela Angel, MD
Shavon L. Arline-Bradley, MD
Barbara Arnwine, Esq., MD
Jaladah Aslam, OH
Rev. J L Armstrong, CA
Jennifer Jones Austin, NY
Diane Babineaux, MD
Monifa Bandele, NY
Rev. Kipp Banks, DC
Cora Masters Barry, DC
Hon. Cindy Bass, PA
Bishop George Battle, NC
Lezi Baskerville, DC
Gail McCann Beatty, MO
Sherry Bellamy, MD
Salandra Benton, FL
Heaven Berhane, DC
Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, MO
Dioinne P. Boissier, CT
Ryan Boyer, PA
Donna Brazile, DC
Rev. Valerie Bridgeman, OH
Rhonda Briggins, GA
Hon. Blondell Reynolds Brown, PA
Clayola Brown, DC
Latosha Brown, GA
Stefanie Brown James, OH
Vanessa Brown, NY
Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, MD
Bishop John Bryant, IL
Rashida Bumbray, NY
Tarana Burke, NY
Suzanne E. Burks, GA
Jacqueline L. Burton
Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, NY
Autumn Butler, MI
Helen Butler, GA
Katima Bynum, NY
Rev. Dr. Malcolm T. Byrd, PA
Rev. Leslie D. Callahan, PA
Melanie L. Campbell, VA
Lisa Cagnolatti-Daniels, AZ
Yolanda Caraway, DC
Glynda Carr, NY
Charlene A. Carruthers, IL
Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, IL
Kimberlyn Carter, GA
Hon. Morgan Cephas, PA
Rev. Adriel D. Chaney, PA
C. Jacqueline Chaney, PA
Marjorie Clarke-Woolridge, NY
Joey Combs, MI
Brittney Cooper, PhD, NJ
Dr. Joia Crear Perry, DC
Nikki Curry, MI
Dr. Gloria Daniels, NY
Lisa E. Davis, Esq., NJ
Lori Davis-West, NY
Rev. Dawnique Daughtry, NJ
Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, NY
Rev. Karen Daughtry, NY
Rev. Leah Daughtry, NY
Sharon D. Daughtry, NY
Afiya Diane Dawson, NY
Edrea Davis, GA
Felicia Davis, GA
Louella Day-Jeter, OH
Rev. T. DeWitt, Jr., GA
Judith A. Browne Dianis, MD
McKenya Dilworth, IN
The Rev. Kaji S. Douša, NY
Dr. Gerald Durley, GA
Hazel Dukes, NY
Marcia Dyson, DC
Natasha Fable, MD
Lisa Fager, MD
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, NY
Leslie Fields, DC
Hon. C. Virginia Fields, NY
Oleta Fitzgerald, MS
Karen Finney, DC
Kathryn Flewellen, GA
Janette Robinson Flint, CA
Jamor Gaffney, MD
Alicia Garza, CA
Gail George, NY
Glenda Gill, CA
A’Shanti Gholar, VA
Patricia Green, MD
Randi Gregory, GA
Chrishelle Griffin, MI
Kellie Todd Griffin, CA
Rev. Neichelle R. Guidry, PhD, GA
Hon. Helen Gym, PA
Rev. Dr.  Cynthia Hale, GA
Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, DC
Sarah Williams Harrigan, NY
Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel
Zaneilia Harris, MD
Nancy Harvin, DC
Sherikia Hawkins, MI
Rev. Fredrick D. Haynes, III, TX
Ash-Lee Henderson, TN
Karen Henderson, GA
Dr. Obrey Hendricks, NY
Cynthia Hewitt, GA
Kristal High, NC
Holli Holliday, Esq., MD
Rev. Gregory Holston, PA
Deborah Hope, Esq., NY
Rev. Joseph J. Horton, Jr., OH
Valerie Bates Horton, OH
Tanya Clay House, MD
Rev. Leslie Houseworth-Fields, NJ
Rev. Carol Houston, CA
Marcela Howell, MD
Alexis Hudson-Ward, OH
Senator Vincent Hughes, PA
Ifeoma Ike, Esq., NY
Phyllis Jacob, MI
Letetia Daniels Jackson, AL
Lisa Jackson, CA
Stefanie Brown James, OH
Emmanuela Jean-Etienne, FL
Rev. Deborah D. Jenkins, NY
Honorable Dezie Woods Jones, CA
Latoia Jones, DC
Jennifer Jones, MD
Yvonne Shade Jones, GA
Derrick Johnson, MS
Laraine Johnson, GA
Avis Jones-DeWeever, PhD, VA
Jerry Jordan, PA
Pat Jordon, NY
Carol Joyner, DC
Rev. Jess Kast, NY
Suzanne Kay, NY
Illai Kenney,  DC
Hon. Patty Kim, PA
Adrienne King, MD
Nsombi Lambright, MS
Rev. E. Terri LaVelle, DC
Debra L. Lee, CA
Rev. Tony Lee, MD
Kimberly Jefferies Leonard, VA 
Bertha Lewis, NY
The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis, NY
Dr. Luella Toni Lewis,  MD, NY
Nakisha M. Lewis, DC
Sharon Y. Lopez, NY
Jeanine Liburd, NY
Charlene Butts Ligon, NE
Staci Lowry, MI
Stacy Lynch, NY
Rev. Leslie M. Watson Malachi, DC
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, DC
Anita Madison, OH
Paula Madison, CA
Tamika Mallory, NY
Dee Marshall, NJ
Flo McAfee, DC
Cecelia McCall, NY
Gwen McCall, MD
Rev. Michael McBride, CA
Rev. Terrance M. McKinley, DC
Dr. Carol McIntosh, VA
Rev. Terrance McKinney, MD
Hon. Joanna McClinton, PA
Rev. Kimberly McNair, NY
Pamela J. Meanes, Esq., MO
Albert G. Miller, PhD, OH
Brenda Grier Miller, OH
Isoke Miller, NY
Rev. Marlon Millner, IL
Shireen Mitchell, DC
Bishop W. Darin Moore, DC
Rev. Donald Moore, PA
Rev. Dr. Judith C. Moore, PA
Minyon Moore, DC
Marc Morial, NJ
Donna Morris, NY
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D
Maritza Myers, NY
Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, DC
Asata N'gonzi, NY
Jacqueline LaRue Parker, MD
Kimberly Peeler-Allen, NY
Karen Carter Peterson, LA
Rev. Francine Pearce, GA
Barbara Perkins, CA
Joia Crear Perry, MD, DC
Jessica Pinckney, MD
Karla Porch, GA
Angela Powell, MI
Diane Powell, PA
Linda Powell, NY
Hon. Chris Rabb, PA
Sheryl Lee Ralph, CA
Tameka M. Ramsey, MI
Rev. Dr. Ella Redfield, MD
Deidra Reese, OH
Bishop Frank Reid, MD
René Redwood, DC
Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, MD
Ethel Richardson, PA
Rev. Deneen Robinson, TX
Tomicka Robinson, MI
Dr. Claudette Rodney, VA
Yvonne Briggs Rubie, NY
Davida Russell, OH
Angela T. Rye, WA
Gloria De Los Santon, NC
Delisa Saunders, PhD, VA
Carlottia Scott, SC
Deborah Scott, GA
Elsie Scott, PhD, DC
Kimberly Selden, NY
Ilyasah Shabazz, NY
Lottie Shackelford, AR
Rev. Al Sharpton, NY
Dominique Sharpton-Bright, NY
Kimberly Selden, NY
Dana Vickers Shelley, MD
Angela Shute-Woodson, OH
Shirley Sherrod, GA
Rev. Emma Jordan Simpson, NY
Rev. Gary V. Simpson, NY
Rev. Elaine Solomon, PA
Rev. Dale B. Snyder, Sr.
Rev. Ederidge Spearman, MD
Chyann Starks, NY
Charles Etta T. Sutton, NJ
Keisha Sutton-James, NY
Bishop Talbert T. Swan, II, MA
Susan L. Taylor, NY
Pierrette “Petee” Talley, OH
Jonathan M. Tennial, IL
Makani Themba, MS
Deborah Thomas, AL
Debra Thompson. FL
Rev. Felicia Y. Thomas, MD
Rev. Robert H. Thompson, NH
Kellie Todd Griffin, CA
Jennifer Tucker, DC
Eboni Marshall Turman, PhD, NY
Yvette Moore Turner, NY
Cheryl Tyler-Folsom, OH
Tonya Tyson, MD
Contessa Washington, MI
Rev. Renaldo Watkins, NY
Karen Watson, NY
Rev. Kris E. Watson, Esq., NY
Randi Weingarten, NY
Cassandra Overton Welchlin, MS
Shirley J. Wilcher, MD
Rev. Dr. Barbara Wilson, DC
Rev. Dr. Ruby M. Wilson, NY
Elandria Williams, TN
Janie Williams, NY
Robin Williams, MD
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, MD
Dr. LaVerne Wilson-McLaughlin, MD
Angela Wilson-Turnbull, VA
Rev. Mark Tyler, PA
Dr. Eunita Winkey, MD
Nicole Whitlow-Banks, MI
Chris Woods, PA
Juanita Wright, CA
Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary, MD
Turquoise Young, NY

 



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