Dr. Valerie A. Johnson will speak on the systemic violence against women of color at the N. C. NOW Conference on Friday, Oct 9, at 7:45pm.
The history of policing of people of color in America has led to this moment where people are rising up to assert that Black Lives Matter. There tends to be a lot of focus on killings of Black and Brown men. Dr. Valerie A. Johnson will focus on the systemic violence against women of color, which is often ignored besides notable exceptions like Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland.
According to a recent Washington Post article, “nearly 250 women have been fatally shot by police since 2015.” Of the 247 women shot to death, 48 were Black. Like Breonna Taylor, the 26 year old Black woman who was killed during raid at 3 a.m. at her home in March, “89 of the women were [killed] at their homes or residences where they sometimes stayed.” The article also showed that Black women are fatally shot at rates much higher than women of other races.
One side of the story is use of force by police against Black people. Another side is dehumanization of people of color from language used to refer to them, to to crimes against them.
#SayHerName was used to highlight Taylor’s case and also Bland’s death in police custody in Texas in 2015. The #SayHerName campaign was created in 2014 to bring attention to stories of Black women killed by police by the African American Policy Forum , which is a racial justice think tank. It continues to be used.
Dr. Johnson is co-interim director for the new “Center for Racial and Social Justice” at Shaw University in Raleigh. She also serves as Shaw’s Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities and as a Professor of Sociology. While teaching at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., she served as the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and the Director of Africana Women’s Studies. Johnson also taught at UNC-Chapel Hill.