Three of the most prominent women in progressive politics are among the leaders of a new network that hopes to succeed where other women’s groups have struggled in the past: to organize on the basis of “intersectionality.”
The organization, which calls itself Supermajority, aims to galvanize at least 2 million women over the next year to become political leaders within their communities.
Its mission statement calls for “mobilizing a multiracial, intergenerational community that will fight for gender equity together.”
It is led by former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance Ai-jen Poo, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Alicia Garza.
“Intersectionality,” now a popular term within the progressive movement, was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to institute the principle that all forms of prejudice — and the struggle to oppose them — are linked and cannot be fought separately.
Before they launched Supermajority in April, Garza, Richards and Poo traveled the country on a listening tour and found many women, Garza said, who “weren’t familiar with the range of existing efforts for organizations that are supporting women, and they are living in places where there’s not a lot of infrastructure; [where] there isn’t necessarily a Planned Parenthood or National Domestic Workers Alliance or even a chapter of Black Lives Matter.”
Supermajority aims to provide that infrastructure and is crafting a “New Deal for Women,” a legislative agenda to mobilize voters in the primary and general elections. The program, which the group intends to roll out by this fall, calls for an intersectional movement uniting women across socioeconomic, political and racial lines.
Supermajority, Garza told Yahoo News, is “an organization that believes that women should have control over their own bodies. We are an organization that believes that women deserve to be paid equally to men and so on and so forth. If you share those values, this is a home for you. If you don’t believe those things, there’s lots of infrastructures, institutions that people can join. But for us, we fundamentally believe that there are millions of women across the country who fundamentally share the same values and our values are the values of the majority of the country. That’s really who we’re focused on, the majority. That’s why we’re calling ourselves the Supermajority.
“We’re not the first organization ever to attempt to give oxygen to the fire that women are spreading across the country,” said Garza. “But what we are is willing and ready to make new mistakes.
“We’re very clear that we can’t afford to leave anybody behind, and if we don’t pay attention to the things that keep women separate we actually diffuse the power that we have,” she said, referring to Supermajority’s leadership. “And for us coming from different sectors and organizing women who live together in communities but may not exist together in organizations or in movements, we’re all very clear that we have a chance to do it right.”