TruthAIDS is part of the Women of Color United (WOCU) advocacy coalition which started the 41 Million Strong Election Campaign. The following is WOCU's official statement for the campaign:
The pandemics of HIV & AIDS and Violence Against Women (VAW) affect women in the Global South at alarming rates and disproportionately affect women of color in the Global North. There is both the need and the opportunity during the US 2008 election cycle for a campaign that seeks to educate constituencies and candidates on the issues of VAW and HIV & AIDS.
Women of Color United (WOCU) is implementing the 41 Million Strong Campaign, a campaign that seeks to mobilize the 41 million women of color in the U.S. to vote in the 2008 elections and to advocate for policies on behalf of women affected by VAW and HIV & AIDS domestically and worldwide. WOCU is a network of individuals and organizations that brings together grassroots constituencies of over 50,000 women voters nationwide. WOCU member organizations include survivors of violence, women living with HIV&AIDS, violence against women (VAW) survivor groups and service agencies, HIV & AIDS service and advocacy organizations, immigrant and diaspora groups, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, sororities, and other women’s groups.
Our goal is to increase involvement of women of color in the 2008 elections and to heighten public interest and engagement on Violence against Women (VAW) and HIV & AIDS in order to advocate for policies on behalf of women affected by these pandemics in the U.S. and globally.
The four main pillars of the campaign are as follows:
1. Increase voter registration among women of color
2. Increase voting among women of color
3. Increase awareness of the general public, and specifically among women of color, about two key issues that are at stake in the coming elections and that disproportionately affect women of color globally, VAW and HIV & AIDS.
4. Hold elected officials accountable to the commitments they have made around VAW and HIV & AIDS once the new administration is installed
1. Education of general public through direct action such as teach-ins and issue-based voter education at key events.
2. Dissemination of voter guide on candidates’ positions on VAW and HIV & AIDS for voter education purposes.
3. Dissemination of “I am a Woman of Color and I Vote” buttons, bumper stickers, pens, and T-shirts at various voter registration, Get-Out-The-Vote, and voter education activities.
4. Campaign-sponsored events including film series, speaker’s tours, and panel discussions where dynamics linking geopolitical inequity, feminist/womynist discourse, and racism in relation to VAW and HIV & AIDS can be explored and discussed.
5. Guidance on legal issues on allowable Election/Campaign work for 501(c)(3) organizations.
6. Toolkits for Women of Color United members and others to engage in voter registration, voter mobilization, and issue-based advocacy activities for the elections.
7. Monthly conference calls to provide technical assistance to Women of Color United members and others on voter registration, mobilization, and education efforts.
8. Web-based promotion of the activities of Women of Color United members and others participating in the 41 Million Strong Campaign.
9. Opportunities for dialogue and solidarity-building between domestic grassroots constituency groups and sisters in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.
10. Presentation of policy platform/slate of demands on VAW, HIV&AIDS, and the driving factors of the pandemics, to Presidential, congressional, and local candidates
11. Attendance at various candidate appearances and events to obtain commitments from candidates on VAW and HIV & AIDS.
12. Engaging Congressional Caucuses of Color – Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, Congressional Black Caucus, and other Caucuses such as Human Rights Caucus and Women’s Caucus.
13. Educating politicians and subsequently holding them accountable to the commitments they have made through meetings with key individuals on their staff, grassroots organizing and advocacy, candidate questionnaires and publication of voter guide, and dissemination of information through various media outl