Seven Women: An Intersectional Conversation about Justice

by Camille Landry

“Where do you start?” Former Senator Connie Johnson throws out the question to the audience gathered at Oklahoma City’s Nappy Roots Books on a Spring evening. “With all the challenges we face, how does anyone decide which one to tackle first?” Senator Johnson went on to explain that the answer to that question is highly individual. People get excited about, get involved in, those causes that strike a chord with them. Sometimes problems have to hit you in the face before you decide to take action.

Plenty of issues to act upon were presented at a panel discussion entitled “Women’s Triumphs, Women’s Struggles.” Seven panelists gathered in the gallery at Nappy Roots Books, underneath a photographic exhibit by Gay Pasley featuring images from Women’s March 2019. The event commemorated the end of Women’s History Month, celebrated during March.

Senator Johnson, who had a long career as a legislative analyst, served in the Oklahoma State Senate, and was a candidate for governor of the State of Oklahoma, spoke about legislative and electoral justice. “First and foremost, we have to claim our power as citizens, as voters,” she said. “The ballot box is powerful – but only if you make it work for you.” She went on to explain that merely voting is not enough. “We have to become active in the process of choosing candidates who represent our community, who respond to our needs. And after they’re elected, we have to let them know what our needs are, what’s important to us.” People regularly underestimate the power they have. Senator Johnson cited last year’s success of Georgia voters in denying a Senate seat to a Republican candidate...



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