Our nation has lost a champion of equality. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a pioneer, an icon, a fighter, and an advocate for the rights of all Americans. As an accomplished lawyer and Supreme Court justice, she broke through barriers of sex and religious discrimination even as she was barred from opportunities because of her caregiving role as a mother.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong work advanced justice with seminal decisions in the areas of sex discrimination, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, health care for all, the fight for equal pay, and the defense of women’s health rights. These decisions brought justice to all those whose lives were directly impacted and will continue to shape our nation for generations to come.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, while heartbreaking to many Americans, also serves as a call-to-action 45 days ahead of the election. As we mourn her loss, we will honor her memory and her legacy by continuing the fight for gender equality and women’s rights. BUT DON’T JUST CRY, VOTE! AND LET’S CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK! As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” We now stand on the front lines to make certain that her legacy continues. It is now more important than ever, that we continue to demand a world of equity and human decency by ensuring that all women, girls, and people of color in the communities we serve are counted in the Census, registered to vote, and have safe (and early) access to ballot box.
It is also important that we center Justice Ginsburg’s passionate commitment to justice in the work that we do every single day. In communities big and small, YWCAs turn on the lights and open the doors to answer the cry for justice to advocate for policies that help eliminate stereotypes, biases, and racist power dynamics from our justice system, so everyone has equal opportunity and protection under the law. Our fight for justice must continue, and our work, for equality, shall endure.
In the days before her death, Justice Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” I believe that our democracy should honor that wish as well as her fundamental belief that, “Women belong in all places where decisions are made.” I hope that you will stand with me and continue to urge the Senate to focus on providing relief to people, communities, and nonprofits who are still struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic and allow the next President, whoever that may be, to fill this vacancy in January. It is my hope that the new Supreme Court justice nominee is a person who embodies the mission of our organization, dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
As we move forward in the days ahead, and just like Justice Ginsburg did every day of her life, we are charged to continue to get up and do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until justice just is.
Faithfully yours in the mission,