Monday, September 27, 2010

SPARK Ally of the day: Jamia Wilson

I am an activist, organizer, expat-brat, networker, cartwheeler, truthseeker, and storyteller. I am Vice President of Programs at Women’s Media Center, after serving in several roles related to yo.uth leadership development, grassroots organizing, and communications. After working with coalition partners and campus organizations to help bring thousands of students to the historic March for Women’s Lives in 2004, I was honored as one of the “Real Hot 100″ by the Younger Women’s Taskforce. I recently received my M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU, where I focused on research and writing inspired by critical race theory and gender studies.

I’m inspired by women’s wisdom -- Words from my mother, my grandmother, my aunts, bellhooks, Audre Lorde, Gloria Steinem and Michelle Obama strengthen me every day. I am also inspired by beauty and its presence in all things, people, and ideas. I love nature, yoga, Kara Walker’s art, Ntozake Shange, Cleopatra Jones, French New Wave, Jean Seberg, French graffiti genius Fafi, Wangechi Mutu, Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, and critical race theory.

I am excited to serve as a catalyst for change and SPARK a movement against the sexualization of girls because we need to revolutionize our minds, own our voices, and conquer fear that keeps us from realizing our power and authenticity. We must accept ourselves and remain committed to our core values in order to engender change. It is imperative that we admit that oppression and marginalization exists with(in) and with(out) of the feminist community. Power and privilege that goes unchecked harms our movement, and alienates those we aim to uplift. We must become a much more “functional” family before equality can ever exist beyond our cadre of activists. We will never prevail unless we actively trust young women (without paying lip service or placing blame) and empower each other to create the kind of justice we purport to believe in. For this reason and many more, I am so excited that SPARK creates a space for girls and young women to actively push back and raise their unique and important voices. I am hopeful that we will share a brighter future as each of our sparks ignite a larger flame.

Part of "30 Allies in 30 Days." Learn more about the SPARK Summit and check back tomorrow for our next ally!

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