Black Herstory Month: Recognizing the Women Making A Difference

By Rosemary Barber
Yemi Miller-Tonnet

Black history month provides the world with the opportunity to highlight the women who are working to make campuses safer for women nationwide. Yemi Miller-Tonnet is a Social Justice Associate at Spelman College and a champion for women everywhere. After the Spelman College administration was unresponsive to the sexual assaults occurring on its college campus, Yemi decided to take the initiative to speak out through social media. She knew social media was the next necessary step to take in order for people to acknowledge the voices of women at Spelman College. Yemi chose time and time again to put the voices of women ahead of the reputation of her academic institution. She addressed the victimization of black women and urged people to change that narrative.

Yemi unapologetically voiced her concerns about the violence against women in order to make campuses like Spelman College safer for women. Perpetrators of sexual assault often go unnoticed due to the trauma they inflict on women. But the bravery of people like Yemi help to decrease the number of women who are sexually assaulted on their campuses. Oftentimes speaking out against sexual assault leads to frustration when there is a lack of cooperation with school officials. But Yemi believes in order to continue to keep college campuses safer students should not let their administrators become complacent. Students should continue to advocate for campus policies that are keeping women safe. Yemi hopes to continue to influence her campus and other campuses around the nation. She hopes to go on to law school in order to help women. She also plans to stay vocal about the important issues facing the world today.

August 14, 2014 Yemi speaks at rally demanding justice for Mike Brown
August 14, 2014 Yemi speaks at rally demanding justice for Mike Brown

Black history month is an excellent time to reflect on the people in the past who have worked to make this world a better place. But Black history month is also the time to recognize the movements that are still happening, and the amazing women who contribute to keeping activism alive. Yemi’s persistence to do the right thing on behalf of the survivors of sexual assault should be acknowledged and commended. Yemi hopes to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of women everywhere, and she deserves to be recognized as one of the women contributing to the legacy of black activism.

By Rosemary Barber

English Major and Political Science Minor at SUNY New Paltz / Spring Intern at Feminist Majority Foundation / Lover of all things pink and glittery

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