The Holtzclaw conviction represents a critical step toward visibility of Black women victims of state violence and rape. Some justice has been served, as Holtzclaw’s victims are now assured he will no longer continue his destruction. But we cannot forget that Holtzclaw preyed on and abused Black women in an institutional context that reinforces the idea that Black women -- especially those system-involved or further marginalized by class and ability status --  are not perceived as human beings who can be wronged, violated, and abused.

It’s on us to change the narrative and combat the erasure of Black women’s experiences from media coverage, activism and resources. Let’s use this unprecedented moment as a call to center to Black women, to recognize their humanity, and listen as they narrate their own experiences.

Candace Liger, OKC Artists for Justice
Grace Franklin, OKC Artists for Justice
Barbara Arnwine, Transformative Justice Coalition
Terry O'Neill, National Organization for Women
Devon Carbado, UCLA School of Law
Andrea Ritchie, Police Misconduct Attorney and Organizer
Moderated by Kimberlé Crenshaw, African American Policy Forum