I remember leading into June my comment in a local connect meeting, “June is going to be a jam packed month”, I was right. There has been so much happening this month between celebrating Pride, remembering, and honoring the journey of Juneteenth, including Our Conversation with the Grandmother of Juneteenth on June 14th, and the list grew.
As I continue synthesizing this month’s contents, I must pause. I wear many hats, as I write I write with my intersectionality personal hat. While I mentioned initiatives completed under my professional hat, the opinions and statements herein, are mine and mine alone.
I pause because, I had intended to write a different post, but circumstances compel me to write this one, for this moment. You see, I love to write. I find writing very therapeutic and revealing. Through writing, I often lift the veil on lingering thoughts I have pushed to the side for one reason or another. This brings me to one of those lingering thoughts.
As I began my ascension below The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, my first of several stops on my scheduled excursion in New York City this past Friday, the news from SCOTUS broke. 196 steps to the top of the Pedestal my travel champion spoke somberly, “It’s Official. The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.” My heart sunk as a Native Texan, as an American, as a woman, and as a human who cares for others. Not because I support abortions. I don’t for many personal reasons, including my religious beliefs, but those are my reasons and mine alone. My beliefs should never usurp the beliefs of others on matters affecting their health and/or life. On Friday, June 24th SCOTUS knowingly did just that in more than a 3rd of the country due to the “trigger laws” in effect.
As I reached the marker for 67 steps to go, I lamented at the sheer irony of our current climate in America with shrinking liberties in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Standing beneath Lady Liberty, I was not surprised, but still, I felt just a little gutted. Lady Liberty was a gift and a promise. A promise codified in our Constitution at a time when my intersectionality would have deemed me “not a person” and “without rights”. A promise through our preparation to host Dr. Opal Lee was solidified by why Juneteenth is so important in the history of America. On a personal level, I had struggled with the holiday until Dr. Lee spoke on the effects the movement created for the enslaved people in Texas. A reminder of the past, but more importantly, a hope for the future and “a celebration of liberation with the freedom to live, to marry, to have and keep our children from being sold, to travel, and so much more”, Dr. Opal Lee. A promise Justice Thomas threatens with his concurring opinion. The match has been lit, it is my hope we the Republic put out the fire in November before we find The Handmaid’s Tale a reality. Because, “I have to tell you, NONE of us are FREE until all of us are FREE”, Dr. Opal Lee.
26 steps to the top, “I got this!”, I said to myself as I paused before making the final climb! With the spirit of my ancestors, I reached the top! I felt great for many reasons, but one of them was out of all the people visiting Lady Liberty we were the only two people in the stairwell, opting to bypass the elevator. Due to an illness, I could not have done this a year ago. Looking back, I am not sure I could have even made it to the elevator.
Many believe we cannot surmount the conflicting climate seeping into our global affairs.
I disagree. I am proof positive. That is a lie!
We have fought tyranny before and won! And so, I was this year old when I learned my company in the face of these restrictive measures over women’s health has expanded our health benefits to provide for travel expenses in states where a woman’s informed choice is no longer a woman’s choice. We’re not perfect, no company is, but we are striving to make life work better for people. Moves of this nature are one more step in the right direction! #InItTogether #BetterTogether
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