March is National Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and the present day. The 2023 National Women's History Theme, "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories," recognizes the crucial role that women have played in all forms of media and storytelling. At Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), we are proud to join in this celebration by honoring all women with a story to tell.
BOSS Celebrates and Uplifts Women in Our Community
BOSS programs and services are designed to empower women and provide them with the resources they need to tell their stories and achieve their goals. We are committed to supporting women in their journey towards self-sufficiency.
We recognize the unique challenges that women face in striving to overcome poverty, homelessness, and other barriers. BOSS provides a range of programs to help women achieve their goals, including housing assistance, job training, health and mental health support, and support for reentry into society.
One such program is our Women and Children's Reentry Campus (WCRC). This program provides a safe and supportive environment for formerly incarcerated women and their children to rebuild their lives. Through a combination of housing, counseling, and job training, we help women gain the skills and resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency, share their stories with others, and become productive members of society.
We also work with sub-grantees (with funding from the City of Oakland Department of Violence Prevention) and community partners to provide services and support to women who are facing homelessness, poverty, gender violence and other challenges. These programs and services aim to empower women and help them become self-sufficient.
The Significance of Black Women's Contributions to Women's Rights
From the suffragettes of the early 20th century to the women's rights activists of today, women have played a critical role in advancing gender equality and social justice. Black women, in particular, have faced the added challenge of fighting against both racial and gender discrimination. Despite these obstacles, women throughout history have shown resilience, courage, and determination in their pursuit of justice.
From Sojourner Truth to Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height, Black women have been pivotal in advancing the rights of women and minorities. Their courage, resilience, and activism have paved the way for progress and continue to inspire us today.
Facing double discrimination based on their race and gender, Black women have played a critical role in the women's rights movement in the USA. Historically, Black women have been active in organizations such as the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), which worked to address the issues affecting Black women and their communities. Black women also played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for equal rights alongside their male counterparts.
During the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Black women fought for equal pay, reproductive rights, and an end to gender discrimination in the workplace and in society as a whole. Their contributions to the women's rights movement were invaluable in securing the legal and social changes that have allowed women to gain more rights and protections.
Why Telling Our Stories Are So Powerful and Necessary
The late Virginia Hamilton, the author of The People Could Fly—a revered children’s book of African American storytelling—said that storytelling was the first opportunity for black folks to represent themselves as anything other than property.
Throughout history, women have recognized the importance of telling their stories and the stories of others. From Toni Morrison's masterful exploration of the Black experience to Nikole Hannah-Jones' groundbreaking work on the legacy of slavery in the United States, these women have used their talents to bring attention to critical issues and give voice to those who have been silenced.
Jemele Hill, Sunny Hostin, Amanda Seales, Olayemi Olurin and Tiffany Cross are also powerful voices in the media, using their platforms to amplify important conversations around race, politics, and social justice. They have shown us that storytelling is not just about entertaining or informing, but about creating connections and fostering empathy.
By sharing our stories, we can build bridges between our communities, promote understanding, and inspire change. These women are an inspiration to us all and a testament to the power of storytelling.
Support Women's Empowerment & Self-Sufficiency by Supporting BOSS!
As we celebrate National Women's History Month, we encourage everyone to take action to support women's empowerment and self-sufficiency. While honoring women who have told their stories and paved the way for future generations, let us also support and uplift the women who are currently telling their stories and working to make a positive impact in our communities -- by volunteering with organizations that serve women, advocating for policies that promote gender equality and social justice, and supporting women-owned businesses.
Please join us in our mission to celebrate and uplift women who tell their stories. By working together, we can honor the contributions of women throughout history and ensure a brighter future for all women. Share your story with us, here.
All BOSS programs are designed to improve the quality of life for marginalized and disenfranchised people in our community.
Your donation promotes BOSS solutions to inequity and injustice -- social justice, housing, reentry, and violence prevention programs, along with innovative service delivery methodologies.
Thank you for supporting BOSS for over 50 years!