In 2014, modern feminism faced more scrutiny than ever before. But women writers and activists could not be silenced. In discussions about campus sexual assault, street and online harassment and race, women dominated the streets and the Twittersphere. From the creators of #BlackLivesMatter to a MacArthur genius fighting for women’s labor rights, we asked 16 of the year’s most influential voices for what they hope to accomplish in 2015.
My hope is that feminist, racial justice, reproductive rights and LGBT movements build a coalition that centers on the lives of women who lead intersectional lives and too often fall in between the cracks of these narrow mission statements.
I’d love to see publications make a greater effort to include the voices of women, gender non-conforming people, and people of color – and put programs and policies in place that will help to level the playing field.
I would like to see less digital dualism, which perpetuates the fallacy that online harassment isn’t “real” harassment when in fact so many women writers face threats just for doing their job -writing- on the Internet.
I would like to see the creation of 2 million new, living wage ($15 or more) caregiving jobs, and more affordable options for quality care for working families, particularly in light of the numbers of women in the workforce and the rapidly growing older population in America.
We have an amazing opportunity with @heforshe for one half of humanity (men) to join in solidarity with the other half of humanity (women) in creating a shared vision of gender equality that benefits all of humanity.
I hope that 2015 brings a focus on turning the anger and frustration around the issues of police brutality and violence against black people in this country into concrete policy changes being led by the diversity of leaders I’ve seen and continue to see in the 2014 actions. We want to convene the table of change, not have a seat at it.
I hope to see a continued resurgence of young Black people owning their power to end police and domestic violence. 2015 will be a year of fresh ideas mixing with tried and true organizing tactics in the tradition of leaders like Ella Baker.
I want to see Twitter, Facebook and YouTube set up coherent standards and effective block/report tools to protect users from abuse, and hate speech–particularly rape victims being harassed and doxxed for speaking out about their rapes.
I want to see a mass realization that police brutality is a feminist issue and for mainstream feminist organizations to help change those policies.
In 2015, I’d love to see more representation of women of color in sociopolitical actions, and I’m doing my part by organizing a Women’s Freedom March centering on women of color and our stories.
I want to see queer and trans people of color with radical social and political analyses dominate independent media by creating and growing our own platforms, so we can centralize and control our own narratives.
I hope we can channel the energy around campus gender-based violence toward creating more options outside the criminal justice system for all survivors, not only students.
In 2015 I hope for a movement that is fighting for ALL black lives, and that allows for the stories of ALL black women to be in the forefront of our fight.
My 2015 resolution is to make sure that black women, especially black queer and trans women, are playing a strong leadership role in the growing movement for black lives and black liberation–because black women are the portals to the future, we can do a lot to shape a new economy and a new democracy for all of us.
Opal Tometi, 30 | Black Alliance for Just Immigration Executive Director, Co-Founder www.blacklivesmatter.com, co-created #BlackLivesMatter, #reunitehaitianfams, blackimmigration.net, reunitehaitianfamilies.com | @opalayo
In 2015 I want to see our communities continue to rise up to challenge the criminalization of our people. At the national and local level my organization BAJI and the national network we coordinate, the Black Immigration Network, will be campaigning to end mass incarceration, detention and deportation.
In 2015, I want fewer speeches about supporting women in games and more concrete action – it’s time to open up gamedev to the rest of us.
All illustrations by Ruth Tam