Farah Tanis has a deeply personal reason for starting an organization that helps empower and provide resources to Black women.
Her own mother is a rape survivor.
"There was no other option but to start an organization," she says in this short film, which tells the story of how she cofounded Black Women's Blueprint back in 2008.
Looking through photos of her family members — she is from Port-au-Prince, Haiti — she recounts the violence they've been through. "These are the women that I do this work for."
She adds: "Every single day, there was injustice in my home. But I think what activism opened up for me was that fixing the family is not enough. If the family is in an environment that is suffering, then the family will always be in pain."
Initially, the organization was just groups of women meeting in their living rooms, backyards, and kitchens to talk about their lives, Tanis recounts. But it grew into something bigger.
On September 30, 2017, the March for Black Women took place in Washington, D.C., and Tanis was one of the co-chairs. The march addressed Black women's inequality: The fact that when we talk about sexual assault, we often center survivors who are white and cisgender. The fact that Black women are only making around 64 cents for every dollar. The fact that Black women are dying in childbirth at four times the rate as white women.
"We're all survivors in our community," says Tanis. "When we think about marching, we do it for future generations so that they don't have to be survivors like we are."
Watch the video to find out more about Tanis and the Black Women's Blueprint.
There is a unprecedented wave of social protest across the United States. Divided Films is partnering with Refinery 29 on America Uprising, a journalistic documentary project telling stories of protest through first-person perspectives. It examines the tactics they are using, the policies they are protesting, and the policymakers they are resisting.