This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren received an endorsement from a group of more than 100 Black women, queer folks, and nonbinary activists who praised the Democratic presidential candidate as a leader on visionary thinking and implementing big structural changes. This endorsement comes just two days after Rep. Ayanna Pressley endorsed her Massachusetts friend and colleague for president.
In a video and written statement, Black Womxn For—an organizing collective of Black women leaders, activists, thought partners, and political strategists from across the country—“enthusiastically and wholeheartedly” endorsed Warren as President.
“We write this letter, not with the belief that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a savior, but a stalwart who can be challenged when necessary, moved when appropriate, and held accountable to a base led by Black community leaders,” the statement reads.
“A Warren victory ensures an environment in which Black community leaders can better and more easily usher in those long overdue societal transformations that move us closer to the Liberation that we know is possible,” it continues.
The statement is a letter of executive accountability, not as white saviorism, and views Warren as the best person to champion that progress; it also holds her accountable for steps that will lead to big structural change, not reaffirming the same moderate pragmatism that has left so many marginalized communities, like black women, out in the cold for far too long. That’s true despite black women consistently engaging in the political process.
“We were started by progressive Black organizers who are not impressed by political theater or pandering but have a deep unawareness of the power and the opportunity we have to reshape how politicians interact with the Black community, especially Black women,” Angela Peoples, Director of Black Womxn For, tells The Root. “Senator Warren enthusiastically met us on our playing field and we are excited to continue building a movement to bring about the transformation our communities deserve.”
The endorsement comes at a time when black support of Warren is gaining some traction. A Quinnipiac University national poll last month showed Warren winning 19 percent of the African American vote—a 9-point jump over the poll’s August results. In the latest Morning Consult poll, also released last month, she’s up by 5 percentage points with black voters since August.
“This endorsement is born out of a desire to set a different way of engaging with a Presidential campaign and candidate,” Leslie Mac, Digital Strategist with Black Womxn For, explains to The Root. “In leveraging our collective power to create a relationship with the Warren campaign, we are working towards an accountable candidate and elected official, and are plainly making the case for proactive accountability where we are able to make asks upfront and build trust as we go.”
Many shouldn’t be surprised by the latest endorsement. In this year’s She The People forum, the first-ever presidential candidate forum focused on women of color, Warren sharpened her message and policy chops, discussing everything from maternal mortality to racial and economic justice. It was clear black women’s lived experience would be front-and-center in her policy proposals, so access to power could one day be possible.
In response to Black Womxn For’s endorsement, Warren said the following: “Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don’t take this endorsement lightly. I’m committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs.”
Preston Mitchum is a writer and professor based in Washington, D.C.