WASHINGTON, April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, national women leaders launched two new organizations –Supermajority, which will build women's power across the country and drive change around the issues that matter to women, and Supermajority Education Fund, which will invest in research and education to understand and amplify the civic engagement and the role of women in communities across the country.
Supermajority will be a home for women's activism, working across race, age, sexual orientation, faith, income, and geography to organize women and aggregate their power to demand equity and address the problems that women face — from unequal pay, to staggering child care costs, rising maternal mortality, no family leave, and a government that continues to fail women.
Cecile Richards, the architect of Planned Parenthood Action Fund's* 12 million supporter-army; Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network* and principal of Black Futures Lab*; and Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance*, one of the largest grassroots organizing efforts in the nation, are creating Supermajority to educate, train, and mobilize a multiracial, intergenerational community to fight for gender equity.
We are at a moment in this country where women are taking action, many for the first time ever. According to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Project, 20 percent of Americans have marched or protested since 2016 and the biggest issue driving these actions is support for women's rights. In 2018, women made up 54 percent of the electorate, creating a historic 23-point gender gap and propelling a record number of women into office.
"We've seen an avalanche of women's activism over the last two years in every part of the country. But women want to do more than resist. They want to drive change around the issues that impact their lives," said Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood. "Now is the time to come together and organize around a 'new deal' for women, elevating our issues to the forefront of the national debate in 2019, 2020, and beyond. It's time we demand equity."
Women are 51 percent of this country and are half of the American economy. They are the majority of organizers, donors, activists, and voters across the U.S. Yet, in 2019, women still don't have legislative and political power – and they're a long way from equity. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the U.S. are women; women on average make 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts with women of color making significantly less. The U.S. ranks 78th in the world for women's political representation. American women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers. Yet, these issues, and others like affordable child care and paid family leave, are dismissed as "women's" or "social" issues rather than embraced as national imperatives.
"Women have always done the work, the invisible work that makes everything else possible. As organizers, we've all been working to unite women and make progress on the issues women care about – from low wages to sexual violence. We are tired of those issues being sidelined," said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance*. "We believe that if we connect women and aggregate our power, we can change the direction of this country."
Over the last year, Supermajority Education Fund leaders traveled the country listening to women and learning about why they have become activated in their communities and how to sustain this energy. Here's what they found:
Staying home isn't an option. Women are doing a lot to drive change, and they want to do even more but aren't always sure how.
Civic participation is intimidating. Without institutional support or guidance, getting and staying involved as a citizen, voter, or advocate is daunting, particularly for newly activated women.
Women want to do more than resist. They want to use their activism to solve real problems, not just resist, whether it's from lack of affordable childcare, to closing the pay gap, ending family separation, or reforming our broken criminal justice system.
Women want to be in community with one another. They want to come together across race, generations, income, geography, and more to learn from and support one another and build their collective engagement.
"The future will be decided by women," said Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network* and principal of Black Futures Lab*. "Supermajority will be a community that aggregates the power of women across movements, bringing us together and taking action with shared purpose. When we reach for each other and move forward together, we can move millions."
Supermajority will educate, train, and mobilize 2 million women, who will then help activate millions more women in their communities to make sure women's voices are heard and a women's agenda is represented in the policy debates, in legislative fights, and at the ballot box in 2020 and beyond. To do this, they will:
Work with women across the country both online and off to develop a new, ambitious agenda, a women's "new deal" for gender equity, to lift up through their activism.
With the help of Pantsuit Nation's powerful Facebook community of 3.5 million women in all 50 states, as well as on the ground partners and allies, build a multiracial, intergenerational, national membership community of women who will mobilize for this agenda and amplify it across the country.
Host on-the-ground trainings and community-based events across the country to convene women and give them the skills, tools, and relationships to organize and build a powerful community to aggregate their power.
The team supporting this new effort will also include Jess Morales Rocketto, chair, Families Belong Together; Katherine Grainger, partner, Civitas Public Affairs Group; and Deirdre Schifeling, senior advisor, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
"Supermajority Education Fund and Supermajority aim to build something greater than the sum of our parts – it is about women coming together across communities," said Katherine Grainger of Civitas Public Affairs. "Because together we can generate the momentum needed to transform this country, not just in the short term, but for lifetimes."
The best organizers in the country are also part of the Supermajority Education Fund's leadership committee, including Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO, National Women's Law Center, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director/CEO, MomsRising, Lyric Chen, senior strategic advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Maria Town, director of the Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities for the City of Houston, Mary Kay Henry, international president of SEIU, Paola Ramos, Telemundo and VICE fellow, Emerson Collective, and Raquel Willis, executive editor, OUT magazine.
At launch, Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook community led by Libby Chamberlainand Cortney Tunis, will be a key organizational partner, inviting their 3.5 million person Facebook community to join these efforts.
*Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only.