National Council of Negro Women launches ‘new era’ tour for changes in policy, disparities, and positions
New NCNW president Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley is tackling disparities in women’s health, voting rights, cultural representation in school curriculum, equitable schools and the gender pay gap.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - For 88-years, the National Council of Negro Women has advocated and empowered Black women, their families, and communities. Founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the mission has evolved, and today there’s a new era of social activism and causes which is why the national president traveled from Washington, D.C., to Greenville.
Mecca Carey is a young, college educated professional in health care who says cultural competency in her industry and particularly maternity health services is sometimes lacking.
“Maternal health, despite it being 2023 means we still have Black women dying from childbirth,” Carey said. “I’m here to save my community.”
And it’s a complicated issue, that crosses socio-economic lines.
“A lot of it is because we’re not heard, so when we go to the doctor and we say, ‘Hey, I have this pain,’ (doctors) say, ‘Oh, it’s nothing you can endure it, and they go home and they realize it’s actually something worse than what they thought and it’s not until it’s an emergency that somebody actually listens to them,” she said.
A critical concern, among many, that has the National Council of Negro Women president and CEO crossing the nation.
“I know that I march for a purpose,” said Rev. Shavon L. Arline-Bradley, MPH, National Council of Negro Women president and CEO. “If we’re going to march, we’re going to march to change a plan, change a policy, change a position statement – I don’t just need to march. I need to march to the Capitol and legislate and agitate. And I also need to be able to talk to legislators who make those decisions, and we can vote you out if you don’t support.”
Rev. Arline-Bradley also believes those who aren’t speaking or engaged are sending an unintended message.
“Silence is complicit. Silence means you are agreeing with what’s happening around you,” she said.
Silence about the disparities in women’s health, voting rights, cultural representation in school curriculum, equitable schools and the gender pay gap to name a few.
“Without (people) these movements don’t work,” she said.
FOX Carolina caught up with Rev. Arline-Bradley on her celebration of a new era tour. She’ll be in Anderson over the weekend, then off to Los Angeles and Buffalo, next week.
“If (people) don’t speak up, things will stay the same,” she said. “If you don’t vote, things will stay the same.”
Noticeably a quarter of the people who attended a meet and greet at Springfield Baptist Church were men. She calls this relevant, just as important as coalitions with different races and affiliations.
“I expect new partners and new donors and funders to support us because they see not only are we here, but we a relevant,” Rev. Arline-Bradley said.
“It’s important that we understand that we’re not separate entities, we’re not this group of ladies working to do this or that, but we’re a collective group united around one cause and one sisterhood and brotherhood,” added Willease Williams, National Council of Negro Women SC State Mechanism president.
Membership is also relevant. Currently national membership stands at 30,000 with 2-million affiliates. Rev. Arline-Bradley wants membership to more than double, and she’s calling on youth age 21 and under to become more socially active and part of the new era.
“Young people are actually the force and the gasoline to this fire that’s going to help us move,” she said.
“Because there’s another narrative and so when both voices don’t show up at the table guess how that impacts policy,” said Rep. Chandra E. Dillard, District 23 (Greenville), SC House of Representatives. “There was first education, getting educated on the issue, and then there was negotiation.”
To learn more about the National Council of Negro Women visit https://ncnw.org/
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