By Chanel Stitt Detroit Free Press
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new Detroit web series is a local campaign based off of the national series of conversations (#Share the mic now) which pairs Black and white women together to have conversations about racism and sexism.
When all eyes were on the killings of Ahmaud Arbury and George Floyd, Khalilah Burt Gaston wondered why the same amount of attention wasn't on Breonna Taylor. Gaston immediately started looking for a way to bring Black women voices to the table.
"Sometimes, our voices are the last one to be included in conversation or somehow, our experiences can be overlooked," Gaston says. "People often don't understand how racism and sexism intertwine to oppress Black women."
So Gaston created a web series for metro Detroit women of all backgrounds to participate in breaking barriers and encouraging honesty about racism between Black and white women.
The series, called Share the Mic Now: Detroit, is a local campaign based off of the national series of conversations that brings Black women voices to the table, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
"The purpose really is to pair Black and white women together to have conversations about racism and sexism," says Gaston. "The premise really is that when the world listens to women, it's normally white women."
Gaston says that the white women participating will assist in shifting "the focus from themselves and their work to help amplify the voices of Black women in metro Detroit."
The series started on the Share the Mic Now: Detroit Facebook page Aug. 17 and video postings will continue through Aug. 26.
Gaston originally thought the idea would be small and had originally created the goal of posting five conversations. But when she put out a request for participants, more than 60 volunteers responded. In the past six weeks of planning, they quickly adapted to hosting 24 conversations with 48 participants.
The women that participated were paired based on their possible commonalities. Each group also received a conversation and resource guide, and they also met over video call before the filming.
Some of the metro Detroit leaders featured in the series include Donna Murray Brown, Lauren Hood, Palencia Mobley, Cathy Clark, Lisa Muszkowski and Erica Owens.
"The 48 women who are participating are leaders at the state, local and national level," says Gaston. "We have entrepreneurs, bloggers, and women who are engaged in policy and political matters. We have people who are involved in nutrition and holistic living. So it really is a multi-sector approach, which is really important."
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