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women's history month

As Women’s History Month rolls by, focus on our past, present and future. We have a lot to get done, but we are ready.

We’re creeping closer towards the end of winter and with it we say goodbye to Black History Month and a multitude of culturally enriching achievements — Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther”, Janelle Monáe’s release of two visual singles from her new album, “Dirty Computer”, as well as the unveiling of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, just to name a few — and we welcome Women’s History Month to celebrate not only women’s past achievements and our ancestors, but our futures as well.

Needless to say, the past year has been tumultuous and we continue to grapple with the death rattle of oppressive forces. Patriarchy, white supremacy and other insidious forms of hatred are lashing out at us as we continue to push back and harness our energies to love and support each other as marginalized peoples. February was a time of self-reflection, internalization and laying the groundwork for manifesting our hopes and dreams — the past 28 days have been confusing, devastating and maddening but our resilience, anger and softness binds us together.

This month we focus on our power, our power as women, non-binary and trans folks who are creating safer, stronger pathways for ourselves and our futures. Many of us here at Wear Your Voice are practicing witches, we use the energy of our ancestors and the earth itself to protect and nourish ourselves. Our self-care and ability to find ourselves in the midst of chaos has been essential since the beginning of humanity and it will continue to be that way.

Shop WYV: Healers and Witches of Color

We honor our foremothers and celebrate who they were and who they’ve helped us become thanks to their resilience and softness. The year before us will be one of reckoning for misogynists and racists. Our goal is to provide the educational resources necessary to understand not only this country, but the power structures woven through the rest of the world: imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy. The written word is powerful and every time we write, we are able to set a mark upon this world and register who we are, what we want and what we want to improve.

I think of writing as a form of magic not only because it helps me manifest my intentions and bring clarity to my mind, but if I am able to affirm someone else’s experiences and emotions, that is power. My writing is healing and transformational whether it is rooted in anger or joy. For this month I hope to help others think about what their power is — what are you instinctively best at? Is it your empathy? Perhaps it’s your ability to put yourself first and continuously heal. Celebrate the aspects of yourselves that make you who you are and use that as a form of resistance — as marginalized peoples, celebrating ourselves, our cultures, and our ancestors is a form of resistance.

They tried to erase who we are, they tried to silence us, restrict our spaces, burn our histories, but we are still here and we will continue to make our spaces larger, we will continue to help ourselves, save each other and remember the people who made it possible for us to be here. As Women’s History Month rolls by, focus on our past, present and future. We have a lot to get done, but we are ready.

Lara Witt is an award-winning feminist writer who primarily writes about feminism, racism, pop-culture, mental health, and politics. Witt received her BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned for Philadelphia CityPaper’s arts and entertainment section and the Philadelphia Daily News covering local news, court stories, and crime. Following her graduation, she became increasingly committed to writing about gender, race, and queer identity by using Black and brown feminist theory to analyze current news and politics. Witt freelanced for national and local publications, which led to her working with Wear Your Voice Magazine eventually becoming their EIC and rebranding the site to focus primarily on using the analytical framework of Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Witt’s goal is to provide platforms for marginalized voices with a focus on having other Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) writers tell their own stories and explore their own narratives. Witt has spoken at local Philadelphia events, such as the March to End Rape Culture (2017) and curated a yearly series of events called The Electric Lady Series. These events highlight women of color in Philadelphia by exploring gender, rape culture, entrepreneurship, art, self-care, sex, and culture.

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