Nadine Spencer

Women’s History Month Message

As I look back at an active and successful Women’s History Month, I am struck by how many of the issues that we have fought for over the years are once again taking center stage in society. The fight for women’s rights has been a long and challenging one, spanning generations and even centuries as we have worked toward voting rights, reproductive rights, freedom from domestic violence, and equality in the workplace and society in general. In recent generations, that fight has also extended to the rights of Black women specifically, and we have seen much progress in this regard.

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before women—and Black women in particular—truly enjoy the equality and access to resources and protections that a democracy should provide. And in recent years, it appears that some of our hard-fought victories are at risk of being reversed. One only has to look at the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the US to realize how fragile the rights we enjoy are and how quickly they can be lost. Meanwhile, ongoing racial tensions and political divisiveness have led to an increase in violence and overt bigotry, at a time when one would think these stains on society would be a thing of the past.

Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to advocating for and protecting women’s rights—perhaps now more than ever. I have had the privilege throughout my career to help further women’s rights and particularly Black women’s rights, both through my for-profit enterprises and non-profit work with organizations such as the Black Business and Professional Association. Over the past few years, the BOSS Women and Rise Up! programs have been particularly inspirational for me, as I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of passionate, drive, talented women who believe not only in their right to succeed, but also how essential it is for our community that they do so. I am extremely proud of these women, and of these programs in general, and do believe that our future remains bright, regardless of the challenges we currently face.

That being said, I believe that it is essential that we as a society redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to working toward equality for all people, particularly those demographics that are disenfranchised on multiple levels, such as Black women. I encourage you all to build on the work that has been done over the past few years, draw inspiration from the energy of Women’s History Month, and join together in solidarity with your fellow community members. Those who are against change, diversity, and equality are doing their worst because they know that their time is coming to a close and this makes them angry and afraid, but together we can overcome their bigotry and build a society that is tolerant, inclusive, and respectful of all people. Things may be dark now, but a brighter time is coming.