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Sep 17, 2021

ICYMI: Black Women Leaders & Allies from Civil Rights and Reproductive Justice Organizations Join Forces at Steps of U. S. Supreme Court in Solidarity To Urge Congress to Pass Voting Rights Legislation and Protect Reproductive Rights for Women

Angelo Greco (917) 499-2688
Tkeban X.T. Jahannes (404) 944-1615

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Wednesday, September 15th the NCBCP Black Women’s Roundtable and National Council of Negro Women convened over 40 national civil rights, reproductive rights, women’s rights, labor and social justice organizations to partner for a Black Women Leaders & Allies Call to Action in support of Voting Rights & Reproductive Justice at the U. S. Supreme Court - in a unified voice calling for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and for Congress to swiftly move to protect the reproductive rights of women that is under attack in Texas and across the country.

The Call to Action included a National Call-In Day with the goal of mobilizing national and state-based partners’ members and networks to call their U. S. Senators and advocate for the passage of federal voting rights reform and protection of women’s reproductive rights. For more information about the Black Women & Allies Call to Action go to


National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Women’s Roundtable
Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable states, “Black women stand at the intersection of voting rights and reproductive justice.  It is not an accident that we are standing at the steps of the U. S. Supreme Court right now in solidarity to demand our rights are protected. Historically, for Black people, we have always had to depend on federal protections of our voting rights through the Voting Rights Act.  Further, as a woman, our reproductive rights have been protected through Roe v. Wade.  Today, both our voting rights and reproductive rights are under attack and the U. S. Supreme Court has failed to protect those constitutionally protected rights.  So, we have brought together the voting rights and reproductive movement to join forces to demand the U. S. Congress do their jobs to protect our rights now!”

National Council of Negro Women
It is time for women and people of goodwill everywhere who believe in the promise of this nation to stand up for democracy.   Elected officials must be held accountable to the will of the American people - a majority of whom oppose voter suppression and support a woman's right to choose.  We cannot preserve what is best about America by caving in to a misguided minority, no matter how vocal they are.” --  Janice L. Mathis, Esq, Executive Director of The National Council of Negro Women., Congressional Black Caucus, and other local and national partners.

National Women’s Law Center
“It is hardly a coincidence that the same politicians trying to recreate the gender roles of the 1950s are also trying to recreate the voting restrictions of the 1950s. Avoiding accountability at the ballot box emboldens them to pass such extreme and unpopular restrictions on abortion like SB8, and a healthy, participatory democracy is our greatest shield against these assaults on our collective freedom. With such an unprecedented campaign to force our country backwards, it is incumbent for Congress to take immediate and swift action to defend our access to abortion and the ballot.” --Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center

United State of Women

"The United State of Women believes that every issue is a gender issue, especially voting rights,"  said Executive Director of the United State of Women Jordan Brooks. "The incredible Black women leaders in the voting rights movement are fighting across this nation to ensure equal access to the vote and the preservation of our democracy. Our very right to vote is inextricably linked to our reproductive freedom. Without equal access to the vote, we cannot protect reproductive freedom and abortion access. This is our fight. This is everyone's fight." -- Jordan Brooks, Executive Director United State of Women 

A. Philip Randolph Institute

"John Lewis paid the ultimate price in making sure that the fight to get and to keep our voting rights remain secured. Today,  we have an obligation to ourselves and our future generations to ensure that our voting rights are protected because that is the ONLY way that all other rights are ensured--including the right for women to make their OWN decisions regarding their reproductive rights.  And, it must happen NOW--patience is not our middle name--no one is safe from being disenfranchised." Clayola Brown, National President, A. Philip Randolph Institute

Former First Lady of the District of Columbia
​​This is one of the most consequential times of our lives.  The fight for reproductive justice and voting rights is inextricably linked to the assault on every other civil rights and social justice cause for which we have fought, bled, and died.  Black women will continue to be fearless and unwavering in our determination to secure freedom until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream -- Cora Masters Barry, Board Member, NCBCP former first lady of The District of Columbia

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
“Our country is at a crossroads. Far too many states, including Florida, Georgia, and Texas are passing comprehensive voter suppression laws that will make it harder for Black and other voters of color to vote. Congress must act to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in order to prevent our country from devolving into one in which your right to vote depends on which state you live in. In 1965, the passage of the Voting Rights Act transformed American democracy and Congress must reinstate its full protections so that our democracy can continue to be one in which all voters have a voice.”Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

It's Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Rights Agenda
“When Black women come together, we change the world. Our collective votes equal power that leads to change. In our latest poll, “The Lives and Voices of Black Families,” Black women said they turned out in 2020 because “the stakes were too high not to.”  That alone should be a signal to elected leaders that we mean business,” said Marcela Howell, president & CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda.

“Black women are a strong and powerful force that can make or break elections.  Voting rights and reproductive rights are under attack, so we demand the Senate to step up or we will mobilize to vote them out. We are still fighting against voter suppression laws years after our ancestors marched and shed blood for the right to vote.  Texas is only the beginning of roll-backs on legalized abortions, so we must fight to defend access and prevent further setbacks in reproductive health-care that threatens the lives of Black and Brown women." -- Akosua Ali, President of the NAACP DC Branch

Black Voters Matter
“The fight for our voting rights shouldn’t be one we have to continue to fight. However, we aren’t just fighting, we are demanding change and we will hold officials accountable until it comes” -- Wanda Mosley, National Field Director of Black Voters Matter

Black Women’s Health Imperative
“Historically, Black women have stood at the forefront of social movements to advocate for ourselves and our communities. Today is no different. With less voting access protections and a Texas law that prohibits abortions before many women even realize that they are pregnant, it is clear that our constitutional rights are in jeopardy. It is time for the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4 and the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect our voting rights, reproductive rights, and our democracy.” said Linda Goler Blount MPH, President and CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative.

National Council of Jewish Women
“At National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), we know our vote is our voice, but lawmakers in states across the country have already passed more than 30 laws making it more difficult for people — including people of color, women, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals — to vote. These are the same communities impacted by abortion bans, and all too often we see laws to suppress the vote and restrict abortion access go hand in hand. We are proud to work in solidarity with the Black Women’s Roundtable, following the lead of Black and BIPOC women, to protect and advance these critical rights. NCJW’s 200,000 advocates across the country won’t stop until every eligible voter can cast a ballot and have their vote count, and where women, children, and families can thrive in our communities with dignity.” -- Sheila Katz, National Council of Jewish Women

ERA Coalition
"We are thrilled to stand with Black Women Leaders and Allies to shine a light on the immediate need for legislative action to protect our voting rights and extend equal access to the ballot box for all. At the same time, call on national legislators to put in place laws that respect a woman's right to bodily autonomy." -- Carol Jenkins, President and CEO, ERA Coalition and Fund for Women's Equality.

Center for American Progress
“If even one of our constitutional rights can be ignored or dismissed with impunity, then every constitutional right is at risk.  We need a Court that is unafraid to speak constitutional truth to unchecked power – whether that abuse of power is in Texas, or in Washington DC, or any other corner in this nation.  We need a Supreme Court that is capable of articulating with unflinching clarity that our constitutional rights cannot be discarded or circumvented by those intent upon denying us our dignity, and that can show leadership like the Black women and allies fighting for the right to vote and fighting for reproductive justice.” Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Please use this link to view the Speak Out/Press Conference

The following national partners and elected leaders participated as speakers on September 15th at the Black Women & Allies Call to Action on Voting Rights and Reproductive Justice Speak Out:

  • Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO, NCBCP, and Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
  • Congresswoman Terri Sewell, AL-7, Chief Deputy Whip, 117th Congress
  • Janice Mathis, Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women 
  • Fatima Goss Graves, National President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center Action Fund
  • Akosua Ali, President NAACP DC Branch 
  • Arielle Atherley, Policy Analyst, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
  • Marcia Johnson Blanco, Co-Director, The Voting Rights Project, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
  • Jordan Brooks, Executive Director, United State of Women  
  • Clayola Brown, National President, A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • Joi Chaney, Executive Director, Senior Vice President, Policy & Advocacy, National Urban League
  • Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
  • Bishop Leah Daughtry, Founder and Co-Convenor, Power Rising 
  • Jotaka Eaddy, Convener, Win With Black Women Collective
  • Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Marcela Howell, Founder and President, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda 
  • Yvonne Hsu, Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer, National Asian American Pacific American Women’s Forum
  • Wanda Mosley, National Field Director, Black Voters Matter Fund
  • Christian Nunes, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Ebonie C. Riley, DC Bureau Chief, National Action Network 
  • Kienta Sealey, Policy Counsel, Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Ellie Smeal, Founder & President, Feminist Majority 
  • Jennifer Tucker, Sr. Policy Advisor, ERA Coalition

Additional national partners included: Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Ultraviolet, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, UJIMA, National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Women, It’s On Us, End Rape On Campus, National Crittenton, Jewish Women International, National Partnership for Women & Families, Supermajority, Higher Heights for America, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Feminist Majority, ERA Coalition, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Justice for Migrant Women, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, Women’s Way, Women’s Funding Network, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Above All Action Fund, Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Girls for Gender Equity and SEIU


The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls’ empowerment and power building arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a Washington, D.C. based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four-pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education, and civic engagement. Founded 85 years ago, NCNW has 300 community and campus-based sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than two million women and men. For more information, please visit

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