The Women’s March is asking businesses to participate in A Day Without a Woman to show solidarity with women, potentially even striking that day. Kids Creative runs daily programming for children ages 4-18, providing essential services to majority women-led households, including single mother households, grandmothers raising grandchildren, lesbian and trans parents and two-income households. Women make up over 70% of our staff, our schools are 50% led by women and our Board of Directors is 50% women as well. This is especially acute when considering the impact of women of color and immigrant women, who make up a large proportion of our families and staff and who traditionally face greater challenges in society. We also want to recognize our role in contributing to and breaking the pay gap between men and women. Women get paid 77¢ to a dollar for a man...if they are white. For black women that drops to just, 64 cents and Hispanic women make 56 cents to every dollar. According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, the gap is changing but it is changing very slowly. “If change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take 44 years—or until 2059—for [White] women to finally reach pay parity. Hispanic women will have to wait until 2248 and Black women will wait until 2124 for equal pay.”
If each of these people did not contribute to Kids Creative on a daily basis, we would not be able to function. If all women at Kids Creative took the day to strike, we would not be able to operate programs safely and effectively. We would have to inform families that we would not be able to provide a space for their children after school, and close programs for the day. The fact that we cannot close our programs for one day because of women shows the impact women have on our organization!
So practically, how can we show solidarity, celebrate the women and girls in our organization and still support our families?
The Women's March suggests a few ways to do so:
1. Take the day away from our jobs to show our impact.
2. Don't spend money.
3. Wear red.
We are determined to support the International Women's Day and here's how:
-On Wednesday, March 8th, we will review all staff contracts and hiring procedures to ensure that we are truly equitable in our staffing.
-On Wednesday, March 8th, we will do our best to not spend money (both personally and as a company).
-On Wednesday, March 8th, we will request that all staff who report to programs wear red in solidarity.
-On Wednesday, March 8th, all programs will create positive rally signs and hold rallies or conduct lessons where we will learn about the contributions of women and people from marginalized communities, and provide lesson plans for community building, peace building and structural violence.
-On Wednesday, March 8th, we will invite families to join us at the school to engage in conversations around gender equity.
-On Wednesday, March 8th, we will explore ways to be upstanders, for our families to feel safe and to protect their communities, both their immediate community and the community at large.
March 8th offers a peaceful way for us to celebrate, rise up and be heard. This is not a political or partisan issue. If we truly value everyone's voice, it is our obligation to honor them not only with words but also action. We hope you will join us to celebrate International Women’s Day.