By: Jennifer Warren, Field Organizer
Last month was tough. I worked tirelessly along with thousands of other Tennesseans to defeat Amendment 1, an antiquated policy that rolls back access to basic reproductive healthcare for people throughout the state. Sadly, we lost. This means a lot more work to secure those rights (and more) for women and families in Tennessee, but it also means opportunities to gather.
After our defeat I hosted a wine and chocolate night specifically for Black women. As they sat around my dining room table I took each of them in…mothers, grandmothers, married, single, all sipping their wine. We talked about the recent election and our loss. While to some it may have looked like chaos, it really was a room full of love.
I beheld a sight that always warms my soul: beautiful women of color greeting each other, loving and embracing each other, talking and laughing. As the wine flowed the stories began. Stories of bewildered husbands left alone with grandchildren, of our children and their children not being fully aware of the rights we have lost in Tennessee, and the consequences those losses will surely bring.
We shared stories of falling asleep purposefully in an effort to avoid our “wifely duties,” which led to wild laughter around the table and each trying to one up the other. We gathered not to bicker and not for a sad occasion, but to learn how to support each other as we journey into our varied futures and continue to work to secure resource, rights, and recognition for Tennessee families. We gathered merely for the joy of being women, and the pictures simply don’t do the evening justice.