My name is Angela Nike Sutton and I am here to tell you that Poverty does not discriminate…
I am a Black woman, a mother of two beautiful Black boys, and I live in Northeast Philadelphia.
I have lived in poverty in Philadelphia my whole life. Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any large American city.
The face of Philadelphia poverty is most likely a Black mother like me.
Being a woman, for me, has always meant being strong and never showing weakness.
I have always had to be superwoman and the women around me have had to be the same.
As a single mother of two boys, I have to play both roles and every day, I do what I have to do to take care of my boys the best way I know how.
I, too, am a woman
I am the woman you don’t see when you walk down the street sipping your Starbucks coffee
I am the woman you don’t see standing in line waiting for food at the local pantry
I am the woman you make assumptions about when you really have no idea what my life is like
I am the woman who remains invisible in spaces and at events like these.
I… am… a… SURVIVOR.
I am also the woman who fights every day.
I am also the woman who understands inequality.
I am also the woman who advocates for the rights of women and children living in poverty.
I am also the woman who wants a better life.
I am here.
You MUST see me.
You MUST acknowledge me.
You MUST include me.
When I was 14 years old, I was shot in my stomach.
I was unable to move or walk properly for several years.
During that time, I was sexually assaulted by my father.
I have been through so much in my life but I realized later on that everything I went through had a purpose.
All of my pain has been for a purpose and that purpose has been to help other women like me be free.
I learned the power of forgiveness and I turned my pain into advocacy.
As a member of Witnesses to Hunger, I am able to give voice to women who remain voiceless.
I can speak about the things they go through and get people to listen to our stories.
I make sure you see me.
The new administration scares me but I know I have to continue to fight.
Not just for me but for the others that come after me.
I stand here before you today not just for me but for everyone here.
For our children.
For our future.
We must unite and work together to resist.
We can’t accept what we are given.
We must continue the fight and that means ALL of us.
Let’s hold each other accountable for our actions and unite to fight the good fight.
As Sonia Sanchez said, in order to be a true revolutionary, you must understand love.
I do what I do out of love.
I am here because of love.
WE WILL WIN BECAUSE OF LOVE.
Center for Hunger-free Communities Dornsife School of Public Health Drexel University 3600 Market Street, 7th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 267-359-6237 Fax: 267-359-6239 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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