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Intersectional Women's Organization Aims to Mobilize the Majority

Supermajority founders

"Women are mad as hell, we are ready to take action, and we refuse to go backward," says Black Lives Matter's Alicia Garza, cofounder of the new group Supermajority.

From left: Supermajority founders Alicia Garza, Cecile Richards, and Ai-jen Poo

It's no secret that Donald Trump's administration and many state governments around the country are waging a war on women, with restrictions on reproductive health care, reluctance to address the gender pay gap, and more. Women have certainly been fighting back - but now a new organization is stepping in to help them fight even harder.

"Women are mad as hell, we are ready to take action, and we refuse to go backward," says Alicia Garza, the Black Lives Matter cofounder who is now a cofounder of Supermajority, a group aimed at mobilizing women (and their allies) across race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith, income, and geography to demand equity and address the problems that women face. It takes its name from the fact that women are 51 percent of the U.S. population and the majority of organizers, donors, activists, and voters in the nation.

Garza's partners in Supermajority are Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood, and Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The organization launches Monday, along with a sister group, Supermajority Education Fund, which will invest in research and education around issues important to women.

They decided to start Supermajority, Garza tells The Advocate, because they saw a need for a greater infrastructure for women who wanted to get involved in civic concerns. The 2016 presidential election spurred many women into action, with the shock of a misogynist male candidate winning the office over a highly qualified woman. Since then, 20 percent of Americans have marched or protested, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation study conducted last year, and the main issue driving protests has been women's rights. In 2018, women donated $100 million more to campaigns and causes than they did in 2016, and helped elect a Congress with a record 127 women members.

But it's time to continue building on that energy and create an intersectional, intergenerational movement, according to Garza and her cofounders. Their goal this year is to mobilize 2 million women, training them to become effective advocates who can in turn train others. "We are going to shape the conversations that happen in city halls and Congress," Garza says.

Supermajority will conduct in-person trainings and community events around the country, and it will also have a substantial online presence, with its own website and a partnership with Pantsuit Nation, which will invite its 3.8 million Facebook followers to join in these efforts.

The movement will definitely be an LGBTQ-inclusive one, says Garza, who identifies as queer. "We want to welcome all women who identify as women who want to shape a more just society," she says.

Among the injustices that have to be addressed: Two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the U.S. are women. On average, women make 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, 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 mothers.

To deal with these issues, Supermajority intends to fight for a living wage, paid family leave, affordable child care, a clean environment, strong public education, universal health care, and more. But priorities, Garza says, will be determined by women at the grassroots level, especially those who have been marginalized. Leaders, she adds, need to be willing to listen and to be accountable.

Supermajority's agenda is definitely an ambitious one, but the founders are undaunted. "I believe that in November 2020, we will have changed the course of history," Garza says.

With nearly two dozen candidates vying to run against Trump in 2020, and thousands of other races across the country, will Supermajority be making endorsements? That hasn't been decided yet, Garza says: "Talk to us next year."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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