Who We Are

WHO

The First Sins ~ the First Suffragists

The opening salvo for universal suffrage predates the decades leading up to the 100th-year observance. Rewind 400 years when the first Africans were snatched from their homeland to arrive on these shores. While the record is scant, certainly they resisted enslavement. Women fought for power in governing their bodies, their voices and their choices. These nameless suffrage pioneers carried the torch for all people stripped of the most fundamental form of liberty and self-government. We build on that truth – America’s first cardinal and unrepented sin of human bondage – by redefining suffrage and herstory. This narrative honors the sacrifices and triumphs of descendants of warriors, daughters of the enslaved and rejects the notion that the color white should symbolize the suffrage movement.

Founding Sisters

The Washington Informer Charities (WIC) is the fiscal agent of Suffrage. Race. Power. Established in 1989, WIC is the nonprofit arm of the Washington Informer, a weekly community newspaper that reports on issues for and about the African American community. The Washington Informer continues the tradition of Ida B. Wells, Mary Ann Shadd Cary and legions of pioneering women journalists and publishers who waged gallant fights against slavery, lynching and discrimination, while advocating for women’s equality and universal suffrage.

Founding Sisters

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DENISE ROLARK-BARNES

Denise Rolark-Barnes, Washington Informer publisher, is past chairperson of the National Newspaper Publisher Association, which unites some 200 Black newspapers across the country. Rolark-Barnes enjoys high civic standing in Washington, D.C. and among respected national service organizations.

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KATHY ENGEL

Kathy Engel, poet and chair of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Department of Art and Public Policy, claims a long and unbroken history of imagining and inspiring collaboration through art, culture, words, and images that depict justice and social change.

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PATRICIA FORD

Patricia Ford is former executive vice-president of Service Employees International Union and a longtime labor and racial justice advocate. Her recent strides include support of the Bay Area Black Workers Center and she is a longtime board member of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

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JOVIDA HILL

Jovida Hill, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission for Women and advisor to the Mayor on issues of gender and inclusion, is a former journalist and filmmaker.She has piloted Suffrage. Race. Power — Shifting the Narrative initiative as part of Philadelphia’s citywide centennial observance.

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LLENDA JACKSON-LESLIE

Llenda Jackson-LeslieSRP Content Editor,  enjoys more than 20 years in non-profit communications, research and advocacy, specializing in public engagement and content management. A longtime senior associate of McKinney & Associates, she currently works with the National Partnership on Women and Families.

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MARIAH MCCLAIN

Mariah McClain, SRP Social Media Manager, cut her teeth on change and activism as a college student leader who currently commands a suite of skills in graphic design, research, integrated digital media and social media engagement.

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GWEN MCKINNEY

Gwen McKinney, SRP Campaign Director and creator of the initiative, founder and president of McKinney & Associates, the first Black and woman-owned communications firm expressly dedicated to social change, is the S.R.P. creator and campaign director. She brings to the table more than 30 years as a comms strategist, advocate, writer and journalist focused on public-facing activities and collaboration.

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ROSEMARI MEALY

Rosemari Mealy, award-winning author, poet and international human rights activist, is an adjunct assistant professor at the City College of New York and splits her time between Brooklyn, New York and Coral Springs, Florida.

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CHARLENE SINCLAIR, PHD

Charlene Sinclair is a meeting designer, facilitator, trainer, and advisor for leading social change organizations. The Principal of InSinc Consulting Collective, she provides strategic and organizational development to advocacy  and progressive philanthropic organizations through an intersectional approach to race, gender, and class.

Project Team/Advisors

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CAROLYN MALACHI

Carolyn Malachi is a Grammy-nominated artist, an audio producer and engineer, and a professor in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University. In addition to her award-winning creative work, Carolyn mixes records for independent artists and conducts research on the intersection of sound and blockchain technology.

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ROSEMARY REED

Rosemary Reed,  president and founder of Double R Productions, is producer, writer and award-winning broadcast news director who has honed her film and video magic for four decades, serving nonprofit and women-led organizations.

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LEVI PERRIN

Levi Perrin, SRP Webmaster and Content Coordinator, brings a passion for creative storytelling, progressive causes, grassroots change birthed from experience as a seventh generation South Carolinian. Levi comes to the initiative with experience in creative, digital media, and outreach and research.

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TERICAN GROSS

Terican Gross, SRP Project Manager, brings a strong healing and social justice lens, in addition to facilitation, logistics, and project management experience, from her previous tenures at Groundswell Action Fund and Community Change. She is active in her community around themes of migration, land and food sovereignty, historical reclamation and environment.

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NICOLE HAYES

Nicole Hayes, Web Editor, is a published commentator on society and faith. She brings more than 14 years of public relations experience to her work in serving for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

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BRANDON ALLEN 

Brandon Allen, Intern and Social Media Assistant, helped create and deploy content for SRP’s social and web presence. A native of Queens, NY, Brandon is studying journalism and has a passion for equal fights and Black activism.

The Washington Informer Charities (WIC) is the fiscal agent of Suffrage. Race. Power. Established in 1989, WIC is the nonprofit arm of the Washington Informer, a weekly community newspaper that reports on issues for and about the African American community. The Washington Informer continues the tradition of Ida B. Wells, Mary Ann Shadd Cary and legions of pioneering women journalists and publishers who waged gallant fights against slavery, lynching and discrimination, while advocating for women’s equality and universal suffrage.

SPONSORS

Initial funding for Suffrage. Race. Power was provided by the following organizations.

“Anonymous” Women Donors

Project Team/Advisors

SPONSORS

Initial funding for Suffrage. Race. Power was provided by the following organizations.

“Anonymous” Women Donors

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