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Yale Women's
Leadership Initiative

WLI stands in solidarity with the
Black Lives Matter Movement.

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the worldwide efforts of individuals and organizations, alike, to dismantle systemic racism. See below for our statement and a compilation of resources and actionables.

Yes—this is a long newsletter. We will continue to share resources moving forward and hope that you will bookmark them to refer back to, today and into the future.

A Commitment to Listen, Learn, Support, and Act
WLI Statement on George Floyd and a Commitment to Action

The Women’s Leadership Initiative at Yale stands in solidarity with the calls to justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and all the lives lost to police brutality and racial violence. We stand in solidarity—today, and every day—with our Black community at Yale, in New Haven, and across the country and the world.

We commit to use our platform and resources to better incorporate anti-racism education and programming, urge our membership to donate funds to organizations and initiatives leading the fight in Black Lives Matter, share information about phoning and emailing representatives to demand justice, and learn how we can consistently be better allies. To our members, and to anyone else who may be interested, please take a look at today’s newsletter and our released social media for information on anti-racism resources, fundraisers and donation efforts, and phoning and emailing representatives.

As an organization devoted to empowering womxn on our campus, we are committed to supporting Black womxn directly in our community, at Yale, and Black womxn leading the fight against racial injustice. We are and will be continually listening, learning, supporting, and acting in this important time, and in the future. We encourage our members and the broader Yale community to join us and do the same.

In solidarity,
Women’s Leadership Initiative at Yale
Board 2020-2021

Take it upon yourself to contribute to the movement. Read the literature. Phonebank. Email your representatives. Sign petitions. Attend protests.

Here is a compilation of specific resources for action.

NAACP | We Are Done Dying

Click the image below to send a message to your Congressional representative. Demonstrate your support for NAACP's demands!
Letters for Black Lives

If there are people in communities that you are aligned with, or people who you feel need to be educated, consider visiting Letters for Black Lives. The website includes links to letters that you can send about understanding anti-blackness. Many letters even have translations to other languages.
Places to Donate

Other Ways to Help

For a comprehensive list of ways that you can get involved (via petitions, donations, phonebanking, etc.), please visit "Ways You Can Help." Visit this Justice for George Floyd Resources document for government contacts, an email templates, and a phonebanking script (in addition to the names of petitions and funds).

Things to Consider When I Post on Social Media

We encourage you to be thoughtful and conscientious in your social media posting, consumption, and virtual protesting. Below are some guides to allyship for non-Black community members. The best resources about positive and effective allyship will always be those written and shared by those directly oppressed.

Click the images to access the post.
VIRTUAL PROTESTING 101 by @sa.liine

This resource helps guide people through how to share media in a targeted and effective way.

NON-OPTICAL ALLYSHIP by @mireillecharper

This 10-step guide has been widely circulating social media and touches upon what it means to go beyond performative action and support the movement.

To my non-Black community posting squares for blackout Tuesday, here are actions that should follow it by @iamtabithabrown

This post discusses real support measures and self-reflection for optimal allyship.

“Questions I Ask Myself As a White Person When Posting About Racism to Social Media” by @carolinepritchardwrites

This is the thought process of a white women in trying to understand her allyship to the Black community. She encourages followers to consume the work of Black anti-racist educators, listed on the last slide.

It is incredibly important to take action and join the fight for racial justice via donations, petitions, phonebanking, and the like—however, that isn't the only way you can help. We can combat systemic racial inequality by making a commitment to support Black-owned businesses.


As you’re exploring books to self-educate on understanding institutionalized racism and how to be actively anti-racist, support Independent, black-owned Bookstores in the process. Below is a list of 9 fantastic places to support and get your reading from. We will list their website and Instagram handle with each description.

☞  Key Bookstore - online
      website | @keybookstore

The Key Bookstore is “an interactive online bookstore with the mission to encourage the community to bask in the reading culture experience”. The Key Bookstore community is a global network of book lovers promoting Afrocentricity, Environmentalism, Spirituality, and Entrepreneurship. They have a variety of book lists, including one for white allies.

☞  Semicolon Bookstore - Chicago, IL
      website | @semicolonchi

Semicolon Bookstore is based in Chicago, IL and claims the title of the only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space in the city. They are “committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge; while also using the power of words to better our community."

☞  AfriWare Books - Maywood, IL
      website | @afriwarebooks

As the website states, “Nzingha Nommo is owner and founder of AfriWare Books, a premier African-centered bookstore, gift shop and cultural event center located in Maywood, IL.” The store is dedicated to promoting cultural literacy and a sense of cultural pride. 

☞  Hakim’s Bookstore - Philadelphia, PA
      website | @hakimsbookstore

Hakim’s Bookstore specializes in African-American History and supports the motto, “knowledge is power”. Founded by Dawud Hakim, an African-American scholar, author, lecturer, and publisher, in the 1950’s, his daughters and grandaughter now continue his legacy at this West Philadelphia-based shop.

☞  Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books - Philadelphia, PA
      website | @unclebobbies

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books is a coffee and book shop in Philadelphia, PA that also sells merchandise with messages of empowerment. They have closed their doors temporarily due to COVID-19, but are accepting donations through a GoFundMe, and orders for apparel and books online.

☞  Harriets Bookshop - Philadelphia, PA
      website | @harrietts_bookshop

Harriets Bookshop is based in Philadelphia, PA and is named for Harriet Tubman. Its mission “celebrates women authors, women artists, and women activists”. At the time of writing this newsletter, the shop is taking time to fulfill orders but is accepting donations.

☞  Lit Bar: Bookstore and Chill - Bronx, NY
      website | @thelitbar

The Lit Bar is based in the Bronx and is the only bookstore to serve the 1.5 million people in the area. The mission of the store is to “create a haven that inspires reading, encourages healthy social connections, highlights diverse voices, and increases intellectual visibility."

☞  Ashay by the Bay - Vallejo, CA
      website | @ashabythebay

Deborah Day is founder and CEO of Ashay by the Bay, a Book Reseller based in Vallejo, CA that “Specializes in African American and Multi-Cultural Children’s Books, Baby-3 and K-12 for Schools and Organizations."

☞  Blackstone Bookstore and Cultural Center - Ypsilanti, MI
      website | @blackstonebookstore

Blackstone Bookstore is based in Ypsilanti, MI. They have temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, but are accepting donations through a GoFundMe, and orders for products in their website.

Here, we feature the artwork of rising Yale senior, Ivory Fu (MY '21). She states:

"[Below] is a piece created in collaboration with my friend Alyssa Ferdinand, depicting a young Black girl supporting the Black Lives Matter protest with her ancestors standing behind her to represent the history of slavery, the Civil Rights movement, and the Black Panthers."

The work was created as part of her ongoing collaborative art project:

"As we stand in solidarity with the Black community in calls for Justice, defunding the police and redirecting resources to BIPOC communities, it’s important to amplify Black voices and to share resources, support and love. My art project is rooted in this mission, allowing people to directly donate to a Black-led organization (whether that be to fund medical assistance, bail payments, protect supplies like medical equipment and water or other initiatives) in exchange for a collaborative work of art."
"For Alyssa" by Ivory Fu
Please contact Ivory Fu at for more details about her art project or to take part!

We all have more perspective to learn. When we further our awareness of the oppressive forces inherent in society, we further our understanding of our role in working to abolish them.

Here's a good place to start.


TED has compiled a TED Talk playlist, titled "Talks to help you understand racism in America." The hours-long video compilation explores the "everyday realities" of systemic racism in America while looking toward the future.


In this 2014 blog post, YW Boston, an organization "dedicated to to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all," highlights 14 Black Women Writers to Read Year-Round—that is, not only in times of great social tension and turmoil.

To access a list of (free) book PDFs featuring influential titles such as So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis, please visit this link.


Sit down with a podcast.

Excellent podcast series include Code Switch from NPR (about race and culture in America), Intersectionality Matters! from the African American Policy Forum and 1619 (a history of slavery in America, through storytelling) from the New York Times. For further listening, here are 20 Podcasts That Confront Racism in America, as presented by the Bello Collective. Note that all podcasts can be found for free on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts).

For those of you with Spotify, Spotify has also recently created a playlist, called "Stay in the Know," featuring conversations examining the events of the moment.

To support podcasts by Black creators—about art, about comedy, about business (and everything in between)—visit the Podcasts in Color directory.

Understand our yesterday. Change our today. Transform our tomorrow.

Can art amend history? | Titus Kaphar

Yale School of Art alumnus Titus Kaphar delivers a poignant talk about representation and diversity in the world of fine art.
"One Love" by Ivory Fu (MY '21)
"['One Love', 2017] is a dramatic depiction of how a militarized police state led by our current government enacts violence upon our world, and how a group of diverse POC are working to free it," states Ivory Fu. “It expresses the importance of solidarity but is only the start of what we must demand from each other to further the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Today, we must center and amplify the voices of the Black community so that we can overcome the oppressive forces at work in society and fight for a just world together.
Questions, ideas, or feedback?

Please fill out this form or email Ananya Kachru and Jen Huang at and

Feel free to reach out with any inquiries, and let us know if you have any ideas for future WLI events. We'll try to make it happen!
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