December 7, 2023

How we think about women and gender justice

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A fundamental principle of our organization is to invest in those working toward a more equitable and just Cleveland by uplifting and amplifying the voices of those historically silenced and overlooked. As this concept is fundamental to our mission and work, early on in our organization’s evolution, we sought to clearly define what these groups looked like and how we think about gender justice. We held discussions with Collaborate Cleveland’s Inaugural Advisory Committee and community conversations, we sought to clearly define what these groups looked like and how we think about gender justice.

Based on conversations with our advisory committee, community members and partner organizations, we developed the following explanation of how we understand gender justice and women:

Our understanding of gender justice is rooted in a recognition that our society’s systems, policies, and practices are structured to benefit some and deeply disadvantage others. We ground all our work in gender, racial, and economic justice to address the disproportionate impact these systems and structures have on women*—especially Black Women and other women of color.

*Our work is inclusive of all women (cis and trans) and people who identify as nonbinary and gender expansive.

We recognize that language around gender identity continues to evolve and thus we are committed to an inclusive understanding of gender expression centered on the systems that limit access to women’s, nonbinary and gender-expansive people’s safety, health, well-being, bodily autonomy, and opportunity.

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