When I take a pause to reflect on what this phrase, now a viral hashtag movement means, I feel a range of emotions, probably most present is that of rage. Sexual assault, consent, violence, etc. are all  complex social issues that intersect with other social complex social issues and structures. There are lived experiences behind any social movement and it is enraging that it took someone with the right visual aesthetics, power and influence to bring this specific issue, to the forefront. I had the honor of speaking at the 2018 Women’s March about my experience as a Black Woman. A Black Woman, that based on complex social issues and their indicators, should not be standing speaking to a sea of 8K people, let alone alive. #MeToo is more than just an awareness campaign. It was a movement started by a Black Woman who wanted to be heard, and knew she was not alone in the fight against violence on women. For me, this movement is not just about gender issues. This movement is about the dominant narrative in our society that oppresses the “other” group. Pause, close your eyes, and think about what this other group could be. Women, people of color, people with different abilities, gender identities…the list can go on and on. So when thinking about the #MeToo movement, your advocacy and engagement with this issue cannot stop at gender issues. It must be multidimensional and intersectional. You, we, cannot afford your silence or inaction. Ashlei’s has a purpose and passion for empowering Black people and spaces. Professionally, she facilitates conversations and action planning for groups around inclusion and equity frameworks. Visit her website at www.ayspivey.com to learn more. 

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