Natural disasters tend to make low income and poor people—the majority of whom are women—even more vulnerable to physical assault as well as to greater economic challenges in the years that follow.
Last Friday morning at 4 AM, when most of New Orleans was sleeping, one or more arsonists torched the offices of Women With A Vision (WWAV), a group run by activist women of color. When an arsonist breaks into the offices of fierce women of color, sets fire to HIV education materials, and torches plastic replicas of vaginas and breasts, we’d say the evidence is clear. It’s a hate crime.
New Orleans’ Black and transgender community members and advocates complain of rampant and systemic harassment and discrimination from the city’s police force, including sexual violence and arrest without cause.
Like so many of the post-Katrina initiatives, the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, an organization fighting for reproductive justice in New Orleans, is the product of the immense dedication, creativity, and energy of a small group of individuals.