In August, GetEQUAL state lead Rian Brown and Angela Peoples disrupted Hillary Clinton making a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio, demanding that Hillary Clinton divest from private prisons and invest in black trans women. Rian and Angela were acting in solidarity just a few days after Trans Liberation Tuesday, an national day of action organized by our Central Regional Coordinator Elle Hearns and Black Lives Matter to highlight issues facing black trans women.
Rian and Angela were escorted out of the events, but since then, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have spoken publically about the violence against trans women of color, and today Hillary Clinton announced that she will be divesting from private prisons. This is a win for GetEQUAL, for grassroots led direct action, and for all of our partner organizations who demanded Hillary Clinton take this step.
But we're not done yet: we need to see more than rhetoric from the Democratic presidential candidates, especially when it comes to the lives of trans women. The criminalization of black trans women is not eradicated through Hillary Clinton's divestment from the system of incarceration that profits off of black lives-- but it's a start.
Over 20 trans and gender nonconforming women and femmes of color have been murdered in 2015 alone -- and this national crisis requires more effort and action than a few lines in a presidential stump speech. The challenges facing trans women in this country are nuanced, significant, and complicated. We're excited to continue fighting for trans women of color with this win in mind.
the best way for Hillary Clinton to show that she's committed to sustaining black lives around America, is not just to divest, but also to invest -- that was the second part of our call to action. It's not enough for Hillary Clinton to move away from her association with groups like GEO, she must also truly commit to uplifting communities of black trans women.