About Echoing Ida:
Echoing Ida is a group of women thinkers, writers, and change agents committed to amplifying the perspectives of our communities in online and social media around pressing social justice issues. Grounded in the legacy of Ida B. Wells-Barnett who wrote extensively about the devastating truths of racism and sexism in the United States - documenting lynchings, exposing Jim Crow, fighting for quality education, and pushing for women’s suffrage - we endeavor to create an echo chamber of our truths that moves us all toward wholeness and justice.
Ms. Wells-Barnett was a courageous woman in any time - owning her controversial words and the paper in which they were printed. Echoing Ida humbly attempts to pick up where she left off: documenting the devastating effects of a racist patriarchal system from the perspectives of those most impacted and least regarded. In this day and age when words get twisted, truth is mired under thickness of deceit, and pundits with a microphone shape public discourse, we have our ears tuned to her call and the echo resonates through our bones. We shout through our fingers onto the page in hopes that our truths will open a way for justice in this generation and the next. Though the sound originated more than a century ago, we hear the echo, we are Echoing Ida.
Who We Are
Formed in the Fall of 2012 as a project of Strong Families, Echoing Ida secures opportunities for Black women bloggers, shares their dynamic social change work, and builds strong relationships among women making and analyzing the news. We live and work throughout the United States as educators, organizers, policy advocates, communications professionals, community members, mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends. We expose uncomfortable truths around issues of race and gender and provide provocative commentary on conversations in which our voices are not frequently heard - farming, self-care, violence, civic engagement, media, movement building, parenting, and more. We support one another to break down walls of isolation among Black women: brainstorming together, setting and achieving writing goals, finding our voices, and furthering our careers for the good of all.
We post frequently on the Strong Families blog and our personal websites (see below for individual writers' biographies and websites). For more information and reposting, please Contact us by email.
Echoing Ida is supported by Forward Together and the Strong Families Initiative because our families and communities will not be healthy until we uplift the voices and perspectives of those of us on the margins.
"If we don't tell our stories we risk advancing the dominant narrative & sustaining unexamined assumptions about how we move through the world." +Shanelle
Interested in partnering with the Echoing Ida? Contact us by email.
Alicia Walters is a social justice organizer and communications strategist, policy advocate, and performing artist. Her vision is to transform social justice movements and radically improve the lives of women of color and their families with strategic collaborations that alter the dynamics of power. Alicia works with organizations to build deeper and more authentic collaborations with potential allies and center the experiences of women of color. As coordinator of theBlack Women's Media Collective, Alicia provides support for women writers and advocates for their acknowledgement and opportunities in throughout mainstream and social media.
With a Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of San Diego, Alicia has a vast array of experience in social justice. She has worked in classrooms, rural villages, women's shelters, correctional facilities, and non-profit institutions.
As an educator and teacher trainer with the YWCA in northern Namibia, Alicia worked with rural communities to address HIV/AIDS, gender justice, and effective teaching strategies. While Lead Organizer at the ACLU of Northern California Alicia developed collaboration strategies, led local ballot initiative campaigns, organized conferences and lobby days, led organizing efforts in comprehensive sex education, and implemented policy agendas on issues ranging from educational justice to technological privacy. A few of Alicia's most recent projects include: passing a law to prohibit most dangerous shackles from being used on pregnant women in CA jails and prisons; a campaign in response to racist anti-abortion billboards in her community of Oakland, California where she served as a primary spokesperson, organized and directed videos of residents' reactions, and was responsible for messaging and strategy;collaborating with the National Radio Project to produce a radio documentary on the nationwide response to threats to the reproductive justice of African American women.
Follow Alicia @aliciamwalters
Shanelle currently serves her community as a committed new and online media communications professional and advocate working within the reproductive justice movement. She creates visibility for women of color and families on the margins who have strategically been left out of the socio-political debate on reproductive health and rights.
Additionally, Shanelle conducts research in the area of Black women's maternal health with the Black Women's Birthing Justice Collective which works toward an end to the disproportionately high maternal and fetal mortality rates for women of the African Diaspora by challenging the medical violence inflicted upon women of color. Sheis currently co-editing an anthology called Birthing Justice -- Saving Our Lives.
By profession, Shanelle is a journalist with a deep-seated feel for the needs of those on the margins. Using media as a tool for social change can foster a future where the traditionally disenfranchised and oppressed can have their voices heard, their needs met and the support they so desperately need.
She has a bachelors in Journalism from Louisiana State University in New and Online Media. After graduating from The Manship School of Mass Communications, she worked as a freelance journalist in New York covering issues like racial and reproductive justice, urban development & redistricting and birthing justice. She's wrriten for mediums like Women's eNews, The Women's Media Center, The Root, Crunk Feminist Collective and Racialicious. Shanelle identifies as a Black feminist and has a vested interest in writing about issues affecting Black women's health in America.
Shanelle is a member of International Black Writers & Artists, National Association of Black Journalists & the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) and on the editorial board of Ella's Voice a blog of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She is on the board of directors of the National Network of Abortion Funds. Her deep-seated interest in social issues stems from a broad perspective of ventures, some good, some not so good but all lessons of the heart. Shanelle works for the ACLU in San Francisco.
Follow Shanelle @freedom_writer
Jazmine is a big finewoman and a fellow at RuralSupport Partners in Asheville, North Carolina. She came of age in a largely black working class community in Mississippi's state capital. She entered the University of Mississippi as a STEM major at 17. Though she successfully completed her degree in Biochemistry, she also majored in African American Studies because she felt that her talents were better suited for advocating with and for marginalized populations. This passion led her to pursue a Master of Arts degree in sociology. During that time, Jazmine interned for SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective,where she worked on projects related to not only reproductive health, but also issues that impacted communities of color. She has also conducted research on workplace culture, media studies, and social movement organizations. She continues to work with theTrust Black Women campaign, which is a partnership of women who work that black women have the human right to make their own decisions about their reproductive lives.
Follow Jazmine at @JAZonyaMINE
Malika Redmond (lead gender justice researcher) founded the International Black Youth Summit (IBYS) at age 14. After graduating from Spelman College with a degree in Comparative Women Studies, she began a career as an advocate and organizer for national justice organizations such as Choice USA, National Center for Human Rights Education, and SisterSong. Malika was one of the youngest national field organizers for the 2004 March for "Women's Lives" in Washington, D.C., which brought nearly 1 million participants to the national mall and is considered one of the largest marches in U.S. history. She worked for the Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center (WRRC) as a coordinator of the Audre Lorde Black Lesbian Feminist Project, raising awareness of LGBTQ student concerns at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is completing her eight years tenure on the Board of the National Women's Health Network. As Political Research Associates' Lead Gender Justice Researcher, Malika will utilize her extensive international social justice organizing experience and training in intersectional analysis to write about the Right's strategies to suppress gender equality.
Follow Malika at @MalikaRedmond
Bianca Campbell is an aspiring mother—constantly on the hunt to improve herself and her community to create at least a small niche of the planet where she feels empowered as a queer mama of color. Hobbies include laughing hysterically at pictures of babies in Halloween costumes, celebrating Black brilliance, cupcakes and discussing the intersections of race, mamahood, gender, class, sexuality, incarceration, wellness, and resilience.
On paper, Campbell’s undergraduate degree is in political science, but she also studied public relations and improvisional theater. She moved to Atlanta, GA after post-graduation research in Hawaii and South Korea on the impact media has on queer liberation. Developing her politic in the South has been her most rewarding class to date. Every day is an opportunity to dig deeper in to a rich history across her many identities. Campbell currently works at SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW as their public policy lead and can be found buzzing around the Georgia state capitol.
She is severely overjoyed at the opportunity to write, build and grow with other women as a writer. She looks forward to bonding virtually with many more activists in the pursuit of body autonomy and liberation!
As a young queer woman of color, daughter of a single mother and the eldest of three sisters, Taja Lindley is acutely aware of the challenge facing women today and excited about transcending our challenges with art, critical thinking, healing and entrepreneurship. Taja is a self-taught multi-media tactile visual artist, performer, full-spectrum doula and reproductive justice activist inspired by women and girls of color. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.
Gloria Malone is an outspoken and unapologetic proud teenage mother and advocate in NYC. She has been on major news publications like the New York Times and the O'Reily Factor discussing teenage pregnancy prevention through Comprehensive Sex Education and supporting teenage families, not abstinence only sex education and stigma.
Politics, policy, and people are her passions and she hopes to further pursue them upon graduating Baruch College with her degree in Public Affairs.
Gloria also writes for several online publications and blogs regularly on her personal blog teenmomnyc.com andrealteenagefamilies.tumblr.com you can follow her on twitter @gloriamalone
Jasmine’s work was acknowledged and she was a recipient of the esteemed 2012 Gloria Award for her partnership and advocacy with Raising Women’s Voices for the Healthcare We Need on health reform and women of color in New York State.
Currently, Jasmine is consulting with a number of organizations nationally and in New York City. She is the Founder and Principal of a new domestic human rights consulting firm Organized Roots LLC where she uses the breadth of her passions and skills in the service of, “Strengthening Solutions and Sustainability for Social Justice”. In New York State, she has been a champion on addressing health equity for women and girls of color through a statewide consumer health coalition Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), focused on advocacy for the New York State Health Exchange. As a member of HCFANY she sat on the Health Equity Taskforce and the LGBT Taskforce. She is also a member of the New York Alliance for Women’s Health. She is also a participant in the Black Women's Blueprint Writing Circle. Follow Jasmine @BlkFeminst
Naimah E. Johnson
Naimah E. Johnson, LMSW, a licensed clinical social worker, entered the field in 2007. In that time, she has been providing a wide range of social work intervention, with a focus on intensive therapeutic services for varying populations. Naimah has a background in working with individuals with developmental disabilities, children and adolescents involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and her current focus is on traumatized populations exposed to adversity. Ms. Johnson identifies a particular interest in those who have been marginalized as an outgrowth of disparities within their developmental environment. Naimah brings a great deal of passion and commitment to her work and identifies a continued commitment to social justice and fostering the growth and development of under-served and less privileged populations. She does this with a call to foster sensitivity, awareness and empowerment all all levels of society. Naimah is a part of the Black Women's Blueprint Writing Circle.
Renee Bracey Sherman
Elizabeth Dawes Gay
Elizabeth Dawes Gay believes that health is a human right and has devoted her life’s work to helping create a world where all people have the necessary tools, resources, and opportunities to live well and healthy lives. She has a particular passion for maternal, reproductive, and sexual well-being.
Elizabeth works as a reproductive health, rights, and justice advocate in Washington, DC. She is also an active member of the Women’s Information Network and served as co-chair of both the Women’s Health Policy and Women of Color sub-networks where, among other activities, she helped plan and implement the network’s first political leadership training to address issues specific to women of color.
Elizabeth holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Amber J. Phillips
Amber J. Phillips is a youth organizer who aims to empower women, people of color, young people, and communities who are denied resources to have equal access to opportunities in order to produce the type of change that will create options.
Amber, her twin sister, and younger sister were raised by their fierce single mom in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Amber went on to attend Chatham College for Women in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelors of Social Work and Cultural Studies with a concentration in African American Studies.
Amber began focusing her energy and career goals on organizing when she realized it was an all-encompassing word for “changing the world!” She currently works at Advocates for Youth as the Manager of Campus Organizing where she trains and supports young people in becoming activists on their campuses and in their communities as they fight for issues that include: sexual health awareness, LGBTQ rights, gender equality, and ending the stigma around abortion through the 1 in 3 Campaign.
Overall Amber is a young person who is living her dream of working with and for progressive young people to make transformative changes in our society. She looks forward to sharing her experiences and passion for love, justice, womanhood, and Blackness as a writer for Echoing Ida.
Samantha Daley is a senior and soon-to-be graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her major of studies is Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is the president of the Choice USA chapter at her college, and also is a former Choice USA student correspondent.
In participating as a Choice USA blogger, she has been able to share her points of view on a number of issues. Samantha has helped perform research on bullying and harassment in middle schools, and also volunteers at The Inspiration Family Birth Center in Winter Park Florida. Samantha is passionate about all things surrounding reproductive justice, and one day hopes to open up a women’s clinic.