“The people closest to the pain should be closest to the power, driving and informing the policy making.” – Ayanna Pressley
The latest edition of #MelaninMagic features the elegant woman that took the world by storm, future Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. On September 4, 2018, Pressley won Massachusetts’ Democratic primary against US Representative Michael Capuano with 59% of the vote. According to the Associated Press, Pressley is “all but assured of becoming the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts.”
Throughout her entire #ChangeCantWait Campaign, she spoke boldly against inequality and underrepresentation. Last weekend was no different when she was speaking to her volunteers in a Cambridge restaurant and said “This is not just about resisting and affronting Trump. Because the systemic inequalities and disparities that I’m talking about existed long before that man occupied the White House!” Her passion for change is inspiring and was instrumental in her win. She is proof that when you want change, you have to become it! Ayanna Pressley is the change. Here are 5 things you should know about this dynamic woman!
1. Her late mother, Sandra Pressley, was an activist and still is her biggest inspiration. When she was little, Ayanna said her mother “told a black girl growing up on a tough block in Chicago that she had a right to a life of her own choosing. It was a voice of comfort for a little girl whose father was stolen away by addiction and incarceration. And that voice still comes to me when the walls close in, when the critics are loudest, when the doubts are greatest.”
2. She became a powerful advocate for sexual assault after a personal experience at Boston University. She spoke about it at a Boston City Council meeting as she talked about a future hearing on sexual assaults on college campuses because she believes that “it’s important to always put a face to issues.’’ Since that day, she has been unceasing in her efforts to fight for the issues that affect women and young girls.
3. While serving as the first black woman on the Boston City Council, Pressley put together “the first listening-only hearing in the Boston City Council’s history, where 300 families impacted by homicide were able to have their voices heard.
4. She was the first woman in 30 years to become the top vote-getter in three back-to-back elections and the first African-American to “top the ticket”.
5. She has a cat named “Sojourner Truth,” in honor of the “Ain’t I Woman” African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist.
Check out her most recent campaign video below!
Photo by: (Nicolaus Czarnecki/Boston Herald)