If There is a Will, There is a Way

Between work, school, family obligations, personal relationships, church and keeping up with friends it's hard to find space for anything else.

Every time you turn on the television there is another story about a corrupt elected official, some outlandish statement by a presidential candidate or, worse yet, another senseless death due to gun violence.

Black women make $0.60 of every dollar earned by a white male.  Our rates of cancer, heart disease and HIV continue to rise. We are 7% of the population but are, on average, only 3% of legislative bodies in this country; and when Black women candidates strive to shift those numbers, many are met with opposition at best and obstruction at worst.

It's all enough to make you want to throw up your hands. Or it makes you mad as hell.

But what can we do to make a meaningful difference? 

If Black women control $0.85 to every dollar spent in the Black community and our annual spending is estimated at $565 billion dollars, how can we leverage that to our advantage?

If Black women are 6.3% of the U.S. population, 9% of the electorate and they have been one of the three most active voting groups since 1984, how can we make sure more of our sisters on the ballot each cycle?

With so much talk of #BlackGirlMagic how can we translate that into a tangible impact?

We must come together.

We must support movements and organizations that are trying to move the needle for Black women, our families and communities.  We must build institutions that meet our needs.

Higher Heights is an organization that is answering the call of a movement, a movement to make sure that the voices, votes and leadership of Black women matter.

As a membership organization, Higher Heights provides individuals who otherwise would not have the time or energy an opportunity to participate in the process.  Each Higher Heights member, from our $25 General Member to our $1,000 Founders Circle Member, is critically important to the advancement of the cause.

Our members have helped position Higher Heights as the leading political voice of and for Black women because of their continued support of our efforts to elevate Black women’s voices, providing them meaningful ways to be engaged, from the voting booth to elected office this November.  

As they say, "Many hands make light work."

The task of elevating the voices of Black women to shape and advance progressive policies and politics is daunting but not impossible.  It can be done by strengthening Black women’s civic participation to create the environment in which more Black women can be elected to public office. 

As Dorothy Height once said, "When you're a black woman, you seldom get to do what you just want to do; you always do what you have to do."

If we don’t do this for ourselves, who will?

Kimberly Peeler-Allen is the Co-Founder of Higher Heights a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office.