Women of color were united with locked arms as they gathered in Milwaukee and around the nation to demand racial justice on September 30, during the Black Women’s Empowerment March.

The Uplifting Black Liberation and Community (UBLAC), along with Black women, Black men, and allies assembled at Victory over Violence Park in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. The movement was coordinated in solidarity with national efforts in Washington DC and sister cities, and hosted by the Black Women’s BluePrint.

“Black women are the backbone of the family. We’re the nurturers and the caregivers. We work hard, often two or three jobs.” said Lisa Jones, core member of UBLAC. “This is about black love and unity, and a sisterhood to uplift the community.”

Many elected officials spoke at or attended in support of the local event, including U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, State Senators Lena Taylor and LaTonya Johnson, Alderwomen Milele A. Coggs, Chantia Lewis, and Tomika Vukovic, County Representatives Sequanna Taylor and Marcelia Nicholson, and Judge Valerie Hill.

“The Black Women’s Empowerment March is a positive event to show unity and to bring awareness to the oppressive treatment of Black women and how we have empowered ourselves to overcome many difficult challenges,” said Alderwoman Coggs.

The purpose of the companion event March for Racial Justice was to focus on issues of inequality “because as long as U.S. laws, policies, and practices remain steeped in racism and white supremacy, basic human rights and civil rights for all universal and constitutional rights will never be fully realized.”

September 30 was symbolically chosen for the march, as the anniversary of the Elaine Mаssаcrе in Elaine, Arkansas. The tragedy was part of a series of racist mаssаcrеs and lynching during the Red Summer of 1919. Black soldiers, returning from fighting in WWI, could no longer tolerate the inhumane treatment, racism, and white terrorism that greeted their return to America. When they resisted the illegal treatment and demanded that their civil rights be honored and upheld by their country, they were met by murdеrous white mobs and more than 200 were either lynched or imprisoned.

The Black Women’s Empowerment March in Milwaukee traveled north on Martin Luther King Drive and then west Concordia Avenue, ending at Crossing Jordan Ministries for a call to action, fellowship, and refreshments.