As the organization tasked with the care and support for the well-being of university staff women, we find ourselves, at this moment, on a precipice faced with a decision of consequence for women, yes, and all other marginalized intersections within our collective community and our families. Our options are to continue to benefit from the limited rights rationed to women by the power class or choose to stand up for ourselves, our sisters, and our brothers.
The disproportionate killing of our Black sisters and brothers and our trans-sisters and brothers due to undeniable systemic discrimination is unacceptable. The number of excessive pandemic deaths, co-morbidity rates, and systemic violence, combined with the implicit and explicit biases in medical care and public services, has culminated in the perfect storm of inequity. The WWN community states that it is time to end the violence, racism, sexism, discrimination, and degradation in all its forms of our fellow human beings.
The WWN plans to be the change we want to see in our community. The WWN is committed to uplifting the 7,000 staff women in the Yale community, many of whom have experienced either explicit or implicit discrimination commonly experienced by women in every workplace. It would be naive of us to believe these experiences do not occur in our workplace. These experiences range from discomforting to insulting to frightening. Maybe a senior woman is asked to take notes because she is the only female in the room and therefore assumed to be a junior-level employee or a female employee expected to “clean up,” or it may be comments about your appearance or worse. Whatever your personal workplace discrimination story is, it exists because the workplace was built without us. When we are treated as women instead of as equal individuals, it chips away at us. It reminds us our workplace was created, not for us. This feeling is the same feeling every marginalized individual feels when they are forced to face their marginalized status, except sometimes the stakes are higher, as high as bodily injury or death.
Sojourner Truth, the famous abolitionist and civil rights activist, in her famous speech “A’int I a woman? pointed out the power-holding white men of her day should be concerned about the formation of a broad coalition of the marginalized groups of her day. Truth explained the union between white women of the North and Black folks of the South would outnumber and overpower the white men of power. One-hundred seventy years after Truth’s speech, her words still ring true. Together, through education, understanding, and cooperation, we can overcome the implicit biases that exist within the systems of our workplace and our society. We do this by working together to lift each other up. We do this through education, understanding, and love for our fellow human beings.
The WWN promotes equity in our workplace by openly supporting all our fellow affinity groups and providing workshops and programs that uplift our sisters and brothers throughout our workplace community.
We will continue to provide inclusive programming.
We have implemented a Community Task Force – tasked with continuing to build WWN’s commitment to the community in which it resides, including an ongoing voter registration campaign, virtual diaper drive, and more.
Continue to partner with our fellow affinity groups through the “Better Together” project.
Offer more programming and resources to educate our community about how systemic discrimination disproportionately and negatively afflicts marginalized individuals across our nation and all over the world.
Resources are available for self-education curated by the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project. You will find statements from Law School deans across the country and many resources to start the learning process.
Our Share Your Truth Wall is available below, and if you would like to submit your Truth, you may do so through this survey link.