The past several months have been heavy for Black people across our nation. In the midst of the ongoing systemic racism in the United States and a global pandemic, Black women especially have had much weight to carry. We are carrying ourselves and families. We are caring for others in the home or workplace. We are searching for ways to push forward despite everything weighing us down.
These days have been difficult, indeed.
It has been roughly three months since our lives have abruptly shifted in response to the threat of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. There are a lot of things we are still learning in this moment. However, we know that across this country, over 100,000 lives have been lost so far, and Black communities are significantly impacted by the virus.
As a collective of Black women storytellers, we have a deep value for representing Black women’s experiences in a time like this. We are choosing to document how this pandemic specifically impacts Black women so that our experiences and insights can be best positioned to serve us, our loved ones and our families not just right now, but in the year ahead.
This is #HerTestimony.
#HerTestimony is a three-part campaign focused on raising the voices of Black women in the coronavirus pandemic. The three components are: an online survey giving North Carolinian Black women an opportunity to share their stories anonymously, a narrative project, and a guide to help Black women engage storytelling in their own spaces.
As Black women, our individual and collective needs are especially visible right now and we believe it is important that those needs are part of the conversations of how this virus impacts North Carolinians. We also honor the tradition of Black women making a way out of no way and want to highlight our creative resilience and adaptation as we care for ourselves and others. We see this campaign as an opportunity for us to tell our testimonies of this moment in time.
Share Your Testimony: The Online Survey
In this online survey, we invite people who identify as Black women (18+, across intersecting identities) in North Carolina to share how COVID-19 has impacted you and your community, and how you have been adapting to these changes. This is an anonymous survey, we will not ask you for your name. However, at the end of the survey we will ask you to share some information about you that will help us understand how your responses connect to other women like you in different ways. Your participation is completely voluntary and you can choose to stop the survey at any time. You can take the survey by visiting our campaign page.
We hope through this survey we can add to the collective understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting Black women specifically and our communities more broadly. We hope that this information can help individuals and organizations get the support they need as we emerge out of this crisis.
Read #HerTestimony: The Narrative Project
During the months of April and May, a few Black women across North Carolina have shared with us their stories and experiences during the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic. During the coming weeks, you will read their perspectives on needs, wants, and hopes during this crisis. We hope that this narrative project resonates with you – that you receive a word reminding you that as Black women, we are on this journey together.
Foster Community in Testifying: The Guide.
This guide gives you a way to extend this project to your own community, be it in North Carolina or beyond. It provides the list of interview questions and a few ideas on how to engage people in conversations about how their lives have been impacted during this period of time. It will be available in July. Bring us alongside you. Let us know how you use this tool by tagging us on social media (@thebeautifulprj). To access the three components of the campaign, visit here.
Storytelling is a place of community, a channel for healing; a tool of change.
With hearts of love and gratitude, we invite you to listen to, receive, and engage with #HerTestimony.