The Women Series

In one segment of our Conversations for an Equitable South series, we focused on the roles of women in the fight for racial justice, specifically on white women and on mothers. Beginning in March 2021, this multi-conversation series provides a space to discuss the lasting impact racism has had on people and institutions and, as a result, will inspire action with the intention of creating racial equity within our communities.

Watch the conversations from the Women Series below.

Why White Women? Why Now?

March 31, 2021

In our public discourse on racism and white supremacy, the focus often rests first on the actions of white men. But, what about the role of white women?

History and the present-day show us that the role of white women in regards to racism has been complex at best and complicit at worst. Today white women represent an enormous amount of power in our society and communities – from voting to purchasing power to educating future generations of Americans.

Jenna Arnold, Author of Raising Our Hands, National Organizer of the Women’s March, and Education and Media Specialist for the United Nations, joins our Founder and President Mitch Landrieu to discuss what it would look like if white women were fully and authentically engaged in the fight for racial justice.

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Then & Now: The Complicity of White Women in the South

April 19, 2021

When we think of the leaders of white supremacist movements, we often picture white men. But what about the role of white women, both historically and today? How do we truthfully talk about the role white women have played throughout the period of American slavery, the Jim Crow era, and the activities of white nationalist groups today? How does the incomplete telling of our history and the role white women have played in it impact our expectations of white women today? What would our country look like if white women deployed their social status, spending power, political influence, and collective energy to actively become a part of the solution to dismantle white supremacy?

Featuring authors Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Elizabeth Gillespie McRae, and Seyward Darby, this conversation takes a look at our history and challenge our understandings of the power of white women throughout our history and now.

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The Power of Motherhood

June 9, 2021

One way or another, we all have a mother – but our experiences as mothers and children are as unique as we are, making the concept of “motherhood” both universal and deeply individual.

How can we tap into the profound resonance of motherhood in our work toward racial justice? What obligations do white mothers (and fathers) have to raise anti-racist children? And how can we draw on the powerful role of mothers as educators and behavior models?

Featuring Author and Memoirist Nefertiti Austin, Associate Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University, Margaret A. Hagerman, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina Asheville Megan R. Underhill, Ph.D., this conversation aims to broaden our perspectives on motherhood in America and deepen our understanding of the role parents play in movements for racial justice.

More about the conversation and its speakers