WASHINGTON, DC. – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other community advocates took to Twitter to highlight violence against Black women. Earlier this week, for 12 hours, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the CBC shared the stories of Black women killed in America with a focus on police, gun and domestic violence.
Rep. Lawson paid tribute to Oluwatoyin Salau, 19, who was recently killed in Tallahassee. Salau was an activist and participated in the protests for Black Lives Matter.
“The news of Oluwatoyin’s death has been a devastating hit, not just to our Tallahassee community, but people across our nation are also grieving,” Rep. Lawson said. “Although she can no longer stand on the frontlines of this movement, her mission must live on through each of us. When we chant, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ that must include women as well. Women’s lives must be counted in order to truly create change within our system.”
Rep. Lawson spoke at Salau’s Memorial Service on the steps of the Capitol in Tallahassee, which welcomed hundreds of mourners.
“I pray for all those who knew, loved and cared for Toyin, and that you can find some sort of peace in the coming days,” he told the crowd. “Joy will come in the morning. But until then, hold onto hope, love and your community. I work and push forward so you, our next generation, can see brighter days.”
In creating the #SayHerName movement, Kimberle Crenshaw, executive director of African American Policy Forum said, “‘Say Her Name’ attempts to make the deaths of black women an active part of this conversation by saying their names. If black lives really do matter, all black lives have to matter. That means black lives across gender have to be lifted up.”
Other participants included Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and others.
To follow Rep. Lawson, visit: https://twitter.com/RepAlLawsonJr
To see all of the #SayHerName tweets, follow: https://twitter.com/TheBlackCaucus