Celebration, Recognition, Elevation: Black Women & Femmes Are Bringing Us Into the Future – Part 2

Black women and femmes are at the center of transformation in America. ​​In their hometowns, states, and nationally, they are resourcing their communities and battling injustice across intersections of oppression. In honor of the history they’ve come from and the world they’re building towards, we close out this year’s Black History Month by lifting up some of these outstanding leaders from our network of changemaking grantees.

Andrea Ritchie

A nationally recognized expert on policing issues, Andrea Ritchie (she/her) is a Black lesbian immigrant survivor who has been documenting, organizing, advocating, and litigating around the criminalization of Black women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming people for the past three decades. She co-founded Interrupting Criminalization, an initiative that aims to end the growing policing and incarceration of women and LGBTQ+ people of color.

“Our charge is to envision and build a world without police, and without the values that produce policing and punishment… Let’s get free.”

For an examination of the ways Black, Indigenous, and other women of color are uniquely affected by racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement, read her book Invisible No More. Andrea’s Twitter.


Colette Pichon Battle

Colette Pichon Battle (she/her) is the Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. She fights to advance human rights for communities on the frontlines of climate change. Colette has been named an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity, a Margaret Burroughs Community Fellow, and an Obama Fellow.

“To survive this next phase of our human existence, we will need to restructure our social and economic systems to develop our collective resilience. This social restructuring must be towards restoration and repair of the earth and the communities that have been extracted from, criminalized, and targetted for generations. These are the frontlines – this is where we start.”

Watch Colette’s TED Talk and understand why we need to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration. Colette’s Twitter.

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry is a physician, policy expert, thought leader, and advocate for transformational justice. As the Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities.

“There is a dangerous hierarchy of human value, based solely upon skin color, embedded into how we provide and research healthcare. Once we start with some historical truths, that Black women were enshrined in the U.S. Constitution with explicit devaluation based on race and gender, we can build policy and culture that, finally, values us all.”

Read Joia’s article on why racism is the reason Black mothers in the U.S. are far more likely to die of childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than white mothers. Joia’s Twitter, Instagram.



Kim Tignor

Throughout her career, Kim Tignor has focused on legal issues that advance the causes of equality and social justice. She is the Executive Director for the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice and a Co-Founder of #SheWillRise, a movement to nominate and confirm the first Black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

“Black women sit at the intersection of gender and race bias, and as a result, we are uniquely qualified to see who is not at the table and to work to bring them in. We are the masters of leaving the door behind us open and bringing other voices in.”

Listen to Kim’s interview on the Joe Madison Show to hear her discuss the need to finally have a Black woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kim’s Twitter, Instagram.



LaTosha Brown

LaTosha Brown is an award-winning political strategist and philanthropic consultant. She co-founded and executive directs the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute and the Black Voters Matter Fund, two organizations that are increasing the power of marginalized, predominantly Black communities through civic engagement. For over two decades, she has worked to further political empowerment, social justice, economic development, and civil rights.

“Black women have always been on the vanguard of social justice and change in this country. Our history and our story have not been correctly told.”

LaTosha discusses her multi-year fight against voter suppression and the need to constantly hold authority to account in her interview with Channel 4. LaTosha’s Twitter, Instagram.



Milan Nicole Sherry

Milan Nicole Sherry (she/her) is the Co-Founder and Director of Community Support & Outreach for House of Tulip, a non-profit collective that provides housing for trans and gender nonconforming folks in New Orleans. She is a founding member of BreakOUT!, creator of the #BlackTransLivesMatter campaign, and founder of NOLA’s Trans March of Resilience.

“When I envision the world 20 years from now, I see no need for the House of Tulip, the Transgender Law Center, and other agencies that exist because of the disparities that impact us. I see a future where we’ve organized ourselves out of these jobs and into the world we deserve.”

To learn more about Milan and her path to Co-Founding House of Tulip and creating #BlackTransLivesMatter, read her Yong Icons interview. Follow her work through NOLA’s Trans March of Resilience’s Instagram.


Nsé Ufot

Nsé Ufot is the CEO of the New Georgia Project and its affiliate, New Georgia Project Action Fund – organizations that are changing the voting landscape in Georgia. She has dedicated her life and career to working on civil, human, and workers’ rights issues and is a driving force in merging civil rights with civic technology.

“For far too long in American politics, the role that Black women particularly have played in winning campaigns has been ignored, or a dirty little secret that folks have not wanted to acknowledge. Don’t undermine us and undermine our work. Acknowledge our strategy is winning, and act accordingly.”

Listen to Nsé Ufot’s interview on Here & Now for a discussion of the highly sophisticated voter suppression tactics of today. Nsé’s Twitter, Instagram.



These women and femmes are bringing this country into a new future. As a donor network, we stand in solidarity with their movements and aim to support them in a more equitable way – our goal is for our philanthropy to reflect the equality and justice they are building towards. To read about more leaders transforming this country, take a look at part 1 of this series.

The people featured in this blog are leaders of organizations that the Women Donors Network is proud to support. Learn more about our grantmaking and how we are moving towards more equity in our work through trust-based philanthropy.

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