373px-Carte_de_visiteOne of the many guises in which poetry presents itself:  Here American actress Alfrie Woodard delivers New Yorker Sojourner Truth‘s spontaneous speech, Ain’t I a Woman. Sojourner gave this speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in May of 1851. Aint I a Woman is posted here today in honor of Black History Month and International Women’s Day. The theme for the later this year is gender parity.

SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883)

African-American Abolitionist and Women’s Right Activist

*****

“IWD 2016 campaign theme #PledgeForParity
Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement.

“And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.

“The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

“So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!

“Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

“Commit to take action to accelerate gender parity
Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?” LINK HERE TO IWD to learn more and to consider signing the pledge, which is not for women only.

Thanks to Juli (Juxtaposed) for reminding us of IWD and Sojourner.

– Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day)

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