Image: Excerpt from "There It Is" by Jayne Cortez (1934 - 2012)

We  The Signers . . .

We, the signers of this letter came together as a group because we are deeply worried about our post-COVID-19 future. We’ve named ourselves Sojourners for Truth and Justice.

 

We took our name after the short-lived, 1951-52, human rights organization of radical Black women who came together out of their concern for post-WWII America. They were inspired by the courage of the ex-enslaved fighter, agitator, women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth (c. 1797 – 1883).

 

The original Sojourners for Truth and Justice mobilized against racism, Jim Crow violence, sexism and sexual violence, classism, US Cold War domestic and foreign policies, and the political hounding of several prominent leftist African American civil rights activists such as Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois. They understood the interconnectedness of all of those issues.

 

Because today's America is more multicultural-multiethnic our group reflects that diversity. We know that the monumental problems with and dangers to America’s democratic experiment are historically based. America’s systemic inequalities have been dramatically exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19. They impact ALL women of color. We are Sojourners ALL and we refuse to fall into the trap of divide and rule.

 

We are afraid for the future of our country and the world. History has shown that at times like these fascism has been allowed to raise its ugly head. History has also proven that existentially precarious times like this also offer the possibility for the kinds of meaningful and lasting changes that will bring us closer to a world of peace and justice.

  • We MUST support initiatives and support officials and candidates that will make that difference and then hold them to it.

  • We MUST turn out the vote in November 2020.

  • We MUST change the current narrative.

  • Our survival depends on it!

 

We, Sojourners for Truth and Justice, are on the move. We know many others are as well. We speak from our own experiences and knowledge about the US and its relationship to the world and our planet. We ask you to consider our concerns and formulations as you also endeavor to make our country and the world a better place. We are determined that our children and theirs have a planet on which to live and flourish so we have formulated a Program that we believe will lift all boats and bring us together; making us stronger and better able to succeed.

We  The Signers . . .

Marlene A. Archer, Esq.

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE 

Marlene A. Archer, Esq.  is a lifetime member of The National Conference of Black Lawyers; served as National Director, representative at International Association of Democratic Lawyers and at The United Nations; worked in the areas of criminal law, employment discrimination, legal education and tenants rights. Advocating for Human Rights for all people.

M. Annette Ensley

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE

M. Annette Ensley is a lifetime member of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, former Human Resources Director, Nathan Cummings Foundation, former Executive Vice President, Inverness Travel, Inc. and a social justice-oriented and organization-focused professional, committed to effecting change for human rights and human dignity for all.

Claudia Loftis

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE

Claudia Loftis is an educator who worked for New York City Public Schools and the City University of New York. She is an active union member and community advocate.

Dr. Maxine Orris

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE

Dr. Maxine Orris is a Medical Director at a community health clinic in Brooklyn, Board member of El Puente for Peace and Justice, internationalist and life long activist in anti-racist, union and community struggles and international solidarity.

Dr. MaryLouise Patterson

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE

Dr. MaryLouise Patterson is a retired pediatrician, civil rights, social justice, international solidarity and peace activist and author. Her medical degree is from Patrice Friendship University, Moscow. She co-authored “Letters from Langston” an edited and annotated 40-year correspondence between her and her co-author’s parents and Langston Hughes.

Sumiko Takeda

ACTIVIST | ADVOCATE

Sumiko Takeda is a freelance English/Japanese simultaneous interpreter, translator; family members were incarcerated during World War II in concentration camps in both the U.S. and Canada. Served as the first Japanese American co-president (second Asian American) of the Stuyvesant High School Parents Association 2005-07.

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