March 27, 2023

Women’s History Month: Highlighting Womanism and Audre Lorde’s Work

This Women’s History Month, let us take a moment to celebrate and honor the journey of womanism and feminism. March is a time to reflect on the forward movement in DEI, Mindfulness and Wellness that women and femme individuals have accomplished.

Author Layli Phillips Maparyan Ph.D. coined the term Womanism and defined it as “a social change perspective rooted in Black women’s everyday experiences and everyday methods of problem solving in everyday spaces, extended to the problem of ending all forms of oppression for all people, restoring the balance between people and the environment/nature and reconciling human life with the spiritual dimension” in her book The Womanist Reader.

Womanism existed long before this term was defined. A prime example of a womanist would be Audre Lorde, who identified as a black, lesbian, feminist woman. She was a key figure in history that has amplified the discourse around diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. She was an American writer and civil rights activist who spoke out against racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. Her work has helped to shape the conversation around DEI and social justice practices today.

Lorde wrote “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare," in A Burst of Light, reminding us that taking care of ourselves and incorporating mindfulness and wellness into our DEI practice is not only radical, but essential.

Audre Lorde was an influential leader who pushed for change, and her legacy continues to this day. Her writings have inspired many to take action against injustice and oppression. She argued that it is essential to recognize differences between people and create an environment where everyone can thrive. She also pushed for organizations to be more inclusive of diverse backgrounds and perspectives in order for them to be successful.

In order to create an equitable society for all people, we must strive for greater diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life. This includes fostering a sense of belonging among all members of society by recognizing the unique contributions each individual can make, and amplifying voices of those who are often left out of movements. By embracing womanism and other forms of inclusive feminism, we can create a more equitable world and call to action.