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Off-White I Support Black Women
L-R: Keri Gray, Toni Michelle, Paris Hatcher, OnRaé LaTeal, Juju Ba, Trinice McNally, Tiara Gendi, Brianna Gibson, Aja Taylor, Jaimee SwiftCourtesy of Off-White

Meet the activists fighting to make Black feminist politics accessible

Spearheaded by Trinice McNally with the support of Off-White™, new initiative ‘I Support Black Women’ amplifies the voices of 10 pioneers pushing for change

The arts have long been used as a vehicle for social change. As a potent platform for activism, fashion, art, and music are vital tools with the power to create and shift narratives that influence culture on a wider level. With this in mind, a new project called I Support Black Women launches today – with the aim of shining a light on Black womanhood through more than just vocal support.

Spearheaded by Black queer feminist Trinice McNally – Columbia University’s Centre for Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Affairs founding director – the initiative is part of a collaboration with Off-White™ that seeks to spotlight a series of Black women organisers and activists, while raising funds for the Black Woman Radicals. Founded by Jaimee Swift, the organisation is dedicated to uplifting Black women and gender expansive people’s activism, with the money raised through I Support Black Women going towards building a physical, foundational safe space in Washington DC’s School for Black Feminist Politics. 

With McNally and Virgil Abloh first connecting via Instagram in 2020, the two soon began bouncing ideas for a collaborative project around. “Virgil was humble, curious, and caring enough to want to support my vision to amplify the voices of Black women,” she explains. “This (initiative) is a model for folks who have resources, access, and power to show them how to support Black women and marginalised people – not just when it’s convenient or when it’s hot, but because you’re committed to learning, growing, and transforming this world.” 

This emphasis on accessibility within Black feminism for those who need it most is a running theme in McNally’s work, as she aims to open the arena up to everyone – from young queer students at HBCU to working class women across the US. For her, it’s about taking away the fancy jargon that permeates politics and thinking about who isn’t at the table, and why. 

“Accessibility means centering the most marginalised. I’m talking about prioritising the needs and experiences of those rendered invisible and not valuable – Black folks and POC, migrants, sex workers, differently-abled, poor, incarcerated, fat, trans, GNC, elders, and those without a formalised education to name a few,” she says. “Accessibility on the ground and in practice is as simple as prioritising these groups and ensuring you’re creating conditions for them to thrive.”

With I Support Black Women bringing together the likes of Paris Hatcher of Black Feminist Future, OnRaé LaTeal of the Freedom Futures collective, and more, the next few months will see Off-White™ join forces with all ten featured activists on a series of roundtables and web talks. Before the whole thing kicks off, we spoke to a number of them about their work, their hopes for the campaign, their dreams for the future, and the different ways we can and should uplift and support Black women.


“My job is to use my background as a political scientist and journalist to provide and share Black feminist political education to the masses. My politik is rooted in the concept of Sankofa, an Akan word that roughly translates to ‘go back and get it’ or ‘it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind’.

I Support Black Women is not just a slogan or a performative statement of action. It means supporting Black women and gender expansive people as a radical politic and praxis. It is a thought and behaviour. It is a way of life – a way of moving throughout the world. It doesn’t mean only supporting and propping up Black women who we see as ‘respectable’ or we deem as ‘Black excellence’. It means supporting the everyday Black women in our lives, as well as protecting them by asking questions like, “how can the oppressive systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, misogynoir, transphobia, and capitalism that catalyse violence against Black women be transformed so that Black women – who are the least protected – can live in a world where they won’t need protection because they are free?’

In the future, I’m looking forward to a physical home for Black Women Radicals that can serve as a resource centre for community education and building political consciousness, as well as a safe space for Black women, girls, and gender expansive people to learn and grow politically and personally.”


“One of my focuses is changing discriminatory practices in the workplace. This movement pushes for organisations and employers to have conversations about racial and gender equity. It pushes them to do the necessary work to shift organisational cultures and practices. This campaign and the ISBW movement at large gives Black women the visibility we need to shift this power. I think the best way to protect Black women is to give them opportunities of abundance to flourish – this includes economically, as Black women are one of the lowest paid demographics in the workplace. Black girls, women, and non-binary people are hyper-vulnerable to abuse, which is parte of a wider infrastructural issue that means as a Black woman in America, it is inevitable that you will experience some form of harm, discrimination, and potentially violence because of bigotry. 

I’m always organising because I love Black women and we deserve more. I imagine a world that values my Black disabled womanhood. And every day, I collaborate with others to construct this vision. It wasn’t an easy journey to realise how magical my Black, disabled womanhood was, and not a hindrance as the world would make me believe. The more I surrounded myself with an affirming community and role models of other Black disabled women the more confident I became. I didn’t want to be silenced or stereotyped, I just wanted to be included. And I realised that meant I had to love every aspect of myself. Today I’m able to look at other Black disabled women, Jennifer Lewis, LoLo Spencer, Toni Braxton and even my grandmothers as they got older. They teach me that our love calls for activism and speaking up against injustice. We are to love our magic and protect our magic, always.”


ISBW is honestly an opportunity for me to share and visibilise the work of other radical Black women, and learn from them. Black women welcomed me into this work, developed my leadership, supported me through my toughest crises, and continue to uplift me every day. I want to see more people demonstrating active support, not just passively saying that they value Black women, or uplifting the voices of Black women once we have been proven right or are gone. The way to stretch this support beyond International Women’s History Month is to incorporate it into daily life as a habit. Activism isn't necessarily limited to grand gestures but also includes meaningful, seemingly minute daily details.

Black women can engage in direct action whilst also being protected from the same violence that they’re trying to stop with support from within our communities and active allyship from other communities. One example of resilience-based direct action came from Moms 4 Housing in Oakland, CA,  which grabbed our attention when two houseless mothers took possession of a home in West Oakland that had been vacant for over 18 months. They knew that they have a right to dignified housing, as all people do, and acted upon it by taking possession of a vacant home in a city that, at the time, had four vacant houses for every person without one.

That act was beautiful, radical, and resilient. It had the potential to also be very dangerous, but they were able to remain in the space for about two months with the support of community members who offered resources, materials, protection, amplification, thought-partnership, and other tangible forms of support, including eviction defense. Because of their boldness, others have taken similar action and communities have been in practice of this particular kind of resistance. It’s amazing.

Most people come to direct action because they want to stop something from happening, which is great. We need to be able to identify what’s wrong in our societies and take action to stop those things as effectively and often as possible. What that framing also asks of us, though, is what we want to see in place of all of the wrongs that we want to confront and stop. What’s our vision for a better world?”


“Having a school built by Black women, with Black women and girls in mind is one element of self-determination. Supporting Black women necessarily means supporting our ability to self-determine – to decide who we are, to tell our own stories and to ground ourselves in the history of Black women. The ISBW campaign is critical as these politics aren't taught in schools – often Black girls have to stumble across incredible Black women like Queen Mary or the Combahee River Collective (to learn about them). 

To be honest, I didn't dream of dedicating my life and work to organising. Organising, advocating, these were means of survival. Black people, but especially Black women and gender expansive people, have always had to prove our humanity and our worth. No one dreams of that – or at least I didn't. I wish that Black women and girls were valued, loved, and respected. 

Everybody has their part to play when it comes to protecting Black women, you don't have to use your hands to hurt a Black women in order to actively contribute to a society where she is not safe – whether it’s Black men that may partake in and perpetuate misogynoir or Black cis-gender women who refuse to part from the white supremacist, bio-essentialist view of womanhood that is literally killing our trans sisters. 

I am a ferocious supporter of poor and working class Black women – those are the women I owe my life to. Those are the women most like my grandmothers. The policy-making spaces I've been committed to curating are ones where the inherent leadership and brilliance of Black people making ways out of no way is seen as necessary to the changes organizations claim to seek.”


Black womanhood is an experience I can’t quite put into words yet – it’s so vast, so expansive. The decision to become an organiser was born out of necessity rather than want, when I realised that my existence will always be in danger no matter where I go – whether it was being queer in Zimbabwe or being Black and an immigrant in America. It was this constant threat that made me realise that I had no option but to show up and do my part not only for myself but also to help others like me stay safe and thriving. It’s this sisterhood, reliance, and community that ties into how we can extend support for Black feminism beyond women’s history month – by maintaining the relationships made and continuing to show up for each other in ways that best serve all women.

As the least protected demographic of society, the best way to protect Black women is simply to let us be. Don't police our bodies or sexuality, don't judge our character by how loud our voices can be at times – if anything, help us make them louder by amplifying them. Make space for us in decision-making positions, but beyond that, support and invest in the spaces we have created. Just show up in the ways that we need you.

What recently happened in Ghana, where an LGBTQ+ centre was raided and shut down, is just the latest in a systematic persecution against the LGBTQ+ community in Africa. These transphobic and homophobic attitudes that have been woven into national consciousness through colonialism have real life implications that result in the abuse of women and other marginalised genders. How we can free ourselves is by demystifying the existence of queer and trans people in Africa. 

The reason why people are against our freedom is because they think we are asking for an extra special set of rights because they mostly hear of us through the media, or by other people who are not neccesary queer theselves. So they cannot relate to us or our struggles. The truth is queer people have always existed – we are your brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers, cousins, teachers, till operators, taxi drivers, and your neighbours. The environment may not have always allowed us to be our authentic selves safely, but we have always been part of society.” 

Donate to I Support Black Women project here to help take Black Women Radicals closer to its goal.