As the first woman of color in the history of the Boston City Council and the first Black woman to ever be elected to Congress from Massachusetts, Pressley is a departure from the old white men who, for too long, have dominated the political arena in the United States.
Rep. Pressley is keenly aware of how inundated structural racism and systemic oppression are in today’s world and is trying to make substantive change. Indeed, in her first elected office (on the Boston City Council), she ran on the mandate to “save our girls.” And as a member of congress, she uses intersectionality to inform policies that she creates.
But being a trailblazer doesn’t come without its costs. Rep. Pressley has been the subject of vitriolic racist and sexist attacks and even death threats, and yet somehow, she forges forth fearlessly. “Our very existence is the resistance,” as the congresswoman often says.
This member of “the Squad,” is about that life.
In this, The Root’s first-ever Root Institute, we feature a series of conversations with the brightest and the Blackest. Next up: Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
Be sure to tune in on Aug. 4 as we discuss the power that Black women wield, in society and politics, with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.
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