FRIDAY FEATURE

BLAIR IMANI

FOUNDER, EQUALITY FOR HER

Q: WHAT DOES STAY WOKE MEAN TO YOU?

A: STAY WOKE means being aware of the systems & power dynamic in place that perpetuate marginalization, discrimination & hate. Staying woke is knowing that (and why) our society is built on white supremacy & patriarchy & having the awareness & cognizance to work against those systems.

Q: AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WOKE UP? WAS THERE A PARTICULAR TEXT, BOOK OR PERSON THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THAT?

A: I experienced levels of wokeness. I would say that moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana & experiencing life outside of Southern California was a wake up call but it wasn't until I started working with the family of Victor White III that I started to experience the gravity of systemic racism. Bearing witness to their ongoing pursuit of justice was another heartbreaking wake up call. Finally, when I started reading the Qur'an & finally converted to Islam, I "woke up" to the depths of white supremacy in the narratives of Christianity. I have more waking up to do but that's part of the STAY WOKE movement.

Q: WHAT ARE A FEW THINGS YOU DO TO STAY WOKE ON A DAILY BASIS?

A: On a daily basis I try to be unapologetically me: a Black, femme, Muslim activist. I wear a hijab on a daily basis, I point out the lack of diversity when I am in predominantly  white/hetero/cis spaces & I strive to uplift the voices & identities that our society marginalizes through my organization, Equality for HER.


YOU CAN FOLLOW BLAIR IMANI ON INSTAGRAM AT @BLAIRIMANI & EQUALITY FOR TWITTER AT @EQUALITYFORHER.