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An Open Letter to the Signatories

Hi everyone,

My wish is that you are settling into a 2019 that will be full of grace, accomplishment, and power. I started Sisters Testify to connect with the signatories of the African American Women in Defense of Ourselves (AAWIDOO) statement, which I signed in 1991.  The project has also introduced AAWIDOO to younger generations.

AWIDOO was a media campaign launched by Barbara Ransby, Elsa Barkley Brown and Deborah King, in 1991 to support Anita Hill, a sexual harassment survivor, who testified against Supreme Court nominee (at the time) Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The group placed a collective statement in the New York Times and several African American newspapers to express its views. It included over 1600 African American women across the country, and existed as a political network for nearly five years after the hearings.

The small Sisters Testify team has spent the past few years on a shoestring budget.  We gathered contact information and survey results. We mailed postcards. We connected with you on Twitter.  We posted tidbits of interest to women of African descent. We spoke to some of you on the phone. We read your letters.  We tried a Twitter Chat.

Now it is 2019 and we want to find ways to foster connections among the signatories and amplify your stories.  Many of you still make important contributions to society.  That’s no surprise given the second to last line of the AAWIDOO statement. “We pledge ourselves to continue to speak out in defense of one another, in defense of the African American community and against those who are hostile to social justice no matter what color they are.”

Here’s what we are making happen in 2019.

First, our blog relaunches with a few new series.

  • Your Inspirations and Watch-Outs. Each month, our mini-survey will ask what inspired you, what concerned you, or what captured your attention. Here’s a link to the January mini-survey.
  • Five Moments of Influence You (May Have) Missed.  We’ll share your announcements and accomplishments. Use us to amplify your stories.  Just email me or reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook with your news. #SisterNews #SisterInfluence #SistersTestify
  • Our Words.  With your permission, we will share your thoughts and other material pulled from your interviews, written submissions, and surveys.

Next, we plan to start calling as many of you as we can just to say hello and possibly for interviews.  We can’t wait to hear your voices.

Finally, I am grateful that you have allowed me to reach out by email over the years and hope that you continue to do so. We have moved the email list to a third-party service called MailChimp. MailChimp makes it easier for us to track your communication preferences.  It simplifies your requests (if any) to stop receiving emails from us; just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

But please don’t unsubscribe!  

Please use Sisters Testify to start connecting with each other.  This is a work in progress. I would love to hear your perspective on our plans for 2019 and any ideas you have to make Sisters Testify more meaningful and sustainable.

Looking for ways to stay in touch and participate??

All my best,

Delida's name

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