A Warm Farewell from Breakthrough U.S.
Recently the Breakthrough U.S. Board of Directors announced that the organization will be sunsetting its U.S. office and all operations effective on March 31, 2023. As President and CEO, it has been my honor and pleasure to shepherd Breakthrough U.S. for the past few years and its efforts to use media advocacy and storytelling to advance racial and gender justice in this new global era.
Having been a vocal advocate for human rights and gender equity for the past 23 years, Breakthrough U.S. responded to the mass racial reckoning of 2020 with a reinvigorated commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. After my appointment to leadership in the Fall of 2021 – and given my own lifelong dedication to championing Black women, girls and LGBTQIA+ people – Breakthrough U.S. appropriately deepened its focus on urgent issues impacting Black cis and trans women and girls, and gender nonconforming people.
Galvanized by the violent and unjust deaths of Black womxn like Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Oluwatoyin Salau, Dominique Fells, and Riah Milton (among many, many others), and the increasingly alarming statistics on the life expectancy of Black women, girls and femmes in this country, Breakthrough U.S. partnered with the organizers of the Defend Black Women March to host its second annual convening in Washington, D.C. last July. Additionally, through a combination of original content, press engagement and editorials, we shone a spotlight on important topics like the portrayal and treatment of Black women and girls in and by the mainstream media; essential readings highlighting the Black experience; the power of Black women artists taking accountability and control of their language; and the Black, Queer and Trans women nonprofit leaders who are making history today.
While it is bittersweet to be closing in on Breakthrough U.S.’ final chapter, I am proud to have been part of its story and legacy. And the work continues! We encourage you to learn more about and support these organizations that are on the frontlines for justice and human rights everyday:
- A Long Walk Home
- Black Feminist Future
- Freedom Inc.
- Girls For Gender Equity
- Grantmakers for Girls of Color
- In Our Names Network
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
- Solutions Not Punishment Coalition
- Women With A Vision
Thank you for all you do to help make this world a better place for all marginalized people and communities.
Nakisha M. Lewis
President & CEO
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