This year, Equal Pay Day was on April 4 to mark the extra three months and a few days that women in general have to work in order to make as much as men do in a year, with the pay gap at around 80 cents to the dollar. But the gap is worse when you take race into account, with Black women only making 67 cents to every dollar.
Thus, Black women have to work 19 months to make what white men make in 12. To mark the day, celebrities and other notable women have all come together to stand for equal pay for all women, especially those who are disadvantages twice over.
While many celebrities, such as Tracee Ellis Ross, took to Twitter to explain the significance of the date, others used the platform to specifically call for change. “We need to do more to address the economic injustice that exists at the intersection of gender & race. #BlackWomensEqualPay,” wrote Senator Kamala Harris.
Others, like Remy Ma, expressed messages of consolidation and support: “Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal & they deserve equal pay.”
According to colorlines.com, Serena Williams recently paid homage to the famous Vanity Fair cover of a nude, pregnant Demi Moore, by having the same photographer, Annie Leibovitz, shoot her recent pregnancy cover in a similar pose (the hand on that hip though – all Serena). Leibovitz also shot all of the story’s photos, including black-and-white images of Williams with Alexis Ohanian, her Armenian-American fiancé who co-founded Reddit.
The cover story focuses on Williams and Ohanian’s account of their year-and-a-half courtship, engagement last December and her subsequent pregnancy. Williams also discusses her plan to return to tennis in January, roughly three months after her child’s anticipated birthdate.
Read the article and view the full set of photos here.
Serena Williams has signed on as the newest ambassador for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, the insurance company’s decade-old initiative to provide financial empowerment to domestic abuse victims. The pregnant tennis star takes over for Kerry Washington as ambassador of the organization, which says it has helped about one million women escape abusive relationships through a mix of financial education and job training.
In explaining her decision to sign on, Williams told Mic.com, “Not a lot of people really know about financial abuse. It’s an invisible but also really devastating form of domestic abuse that traps victims in these harmful relationships.”One reason financial abuse is so prevalent, Williams said, is because it takes many different — sometimes subtle — forms.
An abuser might contact their partner’s employer, for example, and undermine their ability to stay on the job. Or the abuser might take out and use credit cards in their partner’s name.“If a woman’s credit is ruined, she can’t get an apartment,” Williams pointed out. “Most of the time when people leave abusive relationships, they have this awful debt and that can take years and years to recover, especially if they have kids.”
Williams’s announcement on Thursday (June 22) came with a newly-released hidden-camera style video by Purple Purse — showing ride-sharing passengers who get into a car and discover a purse that has been left behind. Soon, a phone inside the purse begins ringing, and the passengers then see a series of alarming texts that indicate an abusive relationship. The video’s message? If you see something, say something, says Vicky Dinges, Allstate senior vice president for corporate responsibility, who heads the project.
Serena Williams held up a Grand Slam winner’s trophy for the 23rd time, celebrating her unrivalled place in history, and received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23.
Venus Williams got to watch from close range again, and shed tears more of joy than regret after being beaten in a major final for the seventh time by her record-breaking younger sister.
Serena won the all-Williams final, the ninth in Grand Slam history and the second in Australia, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday. With her record seventh Australian Open title, Serena moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era.
When Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate on Saturday, Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug. “This was a tough one,” Serena said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration. There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”
Asked if it felt awkward to be on the receiving end of so many losses to her sister, the 36-year-old Venus didn’t flinch. “No, because I guess I’ve been here before,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing the name Williams on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.”
Venus won the last of her seven majors in 2008 at Wimbledon. She didn’t make the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. And she only made it back to the semifinals last year at Wimbledon.
Venus Williams and Serena Williams may travel the world playing the game they love, but they never forget about their home, Compton, California. The two are giving back to their hometown through the launch of the Yetunde Price Resource Center.
Named after their eldest sister, who was killed as a result of gun violence, the center will connect residents who have been affected by violence to service providers. The center will develop custom plans and function as a liaison between the residents of Compton and the agencies that are there to help them.
Mayor Aja Brown said of the center’s opening:
“This is an incredible investment and commitment by Serena and Venus Williams, and I commend them for their desire to help children and families in Compton thrive. The resource center will serve as vital support to existing nonprofits and organizations that provide critical services to our community. I understand first-hand the power of partnership, and I am confident that the resource center will play a major role in breaking down silos in our community by facilitating key partnerships to increase asset leveraging and expanding the impact of services. The resource center will be able to map all of the resources in and around the Compton community while providing customized assistance that will be a vital asset to improving our ability to service our youth, adults and families.”
In addition to the resource center, Gatorade will refurbish two tennis courts and dedicate them to the Williams sisters. The courts will be unveiled during the Healthy Compton Community Festival on Saturday, November 12.
Nike just unveiled the newest installment in its “Unlimited” campaign, “Unlimited Pursuit,” starring some of our favorite female athletes and celebrating power, beauty, and pursuit of athletic perfection.
“Recovering from setbacks, losses and injury, rising from obscurity and destroying obstacles to claim victory, they command the spotlight and inspire Nike to innovate to match their strength and their dreams,” Nike says of the women it highlights in the video. Women like Gabby Douglas, Serena Williams, Scout Bassett, Elena Delle Donne, Allyson Felix, and, of course, Simone Biles, who closes out the video with the kind of stupendous gymnastics move we’ve gotten used to seeing after witnessing her earn five Olympic medals in Rio.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I really needed this today. I specifically set my alarm this morning to wake me at 6AM (PST) to watch Serena Williams compete for her seventh – yes, take that in – seventh Wimbledon title, and to tie Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slams won in the Open Era.
I’ll admit, regardless of the week of continued brutality and violence by police against black citizens and the gut-wrenching retaliation in Dallas because of such violence, as a lifelong fan, I most likely would have been up and watching Serena anyway. But because of its timing, this victory – this continued rising, this perseverance – was that much more coveted, and that much sweeter.
Although Williams did not mention or comment on what’s been happening in America as she accepted her trophy, don’t think she’s remained silent in the media about it. On her Twitter (which we here at GBN happily follow), she spoke directly to the recent atrocities and let us know they were on her mind days before this most crucial, career-defining match:
In London I have to wake up to this. He was black. Shot 4 times? When will something be done- no REALLY be done?!?! pic.twitter.com/OaLn60G6nm
This tweet leads me to speculate that Serena was that much more focused, that much more centered and that much more desirous of the outcome that occurred – because she knew in her heart she wasn’t just winning her 22nd Grand Slam and making history for herself, but for all of us.
So thank you, Serena – for playing your best tennis today and being so damned undeniable. You have been and are a shining light and the G.O.A.T. and a champion for the ages. You are loved and supported in all of your endeavors. You are #blackexcellence. (And P.S. having Beyoncé and Jay Z in your box was on point, too! #Freedom #Formation)