The Women’s Diversity Network (WDN) aka WDN Resource Center connects and mobilizes women and gender-expansive people of different backgrounds to create positive change through unity and collective work.
The goals of the WDN are:
Educating our communities about issues and policies that challenge our unity
Advocating collectively to breakdown barriers for improved inclusion and advocacy for all
Celebrating our diverse backgrounds
In order for us to realize these goals, the WDN engages in activities, create events and promote actions that:
Identify and provide services needed by women and their families
Investigate and research issues of concern to women and their families
Advocate for public policies at all levels of government that address women's issues
Long Island is an exceptionally diverse place but still incredibly segregated. Many of the organizations have shared goals and are doing parallel work, but have been
working separately. The Women’s Diversity Network aims to bring organizations and community members together to create positive changes through a more unified sisterhood.
WDN Founder, Shanequa Levin realized the need for a diversity event as she often found herself to be the only Black woman surrounded by White women, or the room would be full of Black women with no White women in sight. After the 2016 election, this segregation became more evident. Shanequa was ready to make change, but did not want to repeat past mistakes made in regard to diversity in the
feminist movement. Shanequa’s solution was to create a platform where we could celebrate our diversity and take time to get to know one another so we could become more comfortable with each other, and use our collective power to stand up for injustice. She discussed her idea with her trusted colleagues and received the support and encouragement needed. In February 2017, the Women’s Diversity Network was born. In March of 2018, we held a sold-out event.
WDN is now comprised of many women and gender-expansive people from various communities and groups who are committed to WDN’s mission and goals. WDN has become a social movement organization practicing transformative justice processes based on group leadership where marginalized lives are centered.
Maternal & Infant Health, in particular Alarmingly High Maternal Death Rates:
Women in the United States are dying from childbirth-related complications, regardless of race, economics or location at an alarming rate. The United States’ maternal mortality rate ranks 47th among developed nations, and it’s even worse for women of color. African-American women are three times more likely than other women to die from childbirth-related complications.
Among many things Gender Violence can be prevented by expanding public schools sex education program by providing all students with
education that is age-
and inclusive and respectful
of all pupils regardless of
race, ethnicity, gender,
disability, sexual orientation,
or gender identity. The
National Sexuality Education
Standards provide clear,
consistent and straightforward guidance on the essential minimum, core content for sexuality education that is
developmentally and age-
appropriate for students in
Racial bias & systemic racism
Racial Bias & Systemic Racism, in particular Policing & Community Safety:
Nation-wide systemic racism has shaped our criminal justice institutions toward discriminatory practices, building inequitable policies into their very foundations. Across the country, we have filled prisons with Black and brown people, and expanded policing and incarceration while defunding the very systems and programs that would address the root causes of “crime.” Long Island has an infamous history of racial segregation and the hyper-policing of Black and Latinx communities. For too long, our communities of color have been the victim of these practices while we fail to repair the harm caused to those left behind.
OUR aDVOCACY AREAS
Contributors to the
Sustainability of wdn
Long Island Community Foundation
Veatch Program of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock
lYNN & jONAH Kaufman
eMILY kAUFMAN & tERRYL dOZIER
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock women's Group Board
Barbara Joy Beatus