JESSICA ANN MITCHELL AIWUYOR
At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
I've always considered my self a feminist, though growing up - I didn't always have the terminology to describe my feminist lens. I've always believed in the power of women - and have always embraced the glow of Black feminist, womanist icons.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker influenced my awareness of feminism. I'm not sure if Hurston would have called herself a feminist - but her fearless embrace of Black women's stories and lives have led me towards a feminist path my entire childhood. Alice Walker, known widely for ushering in the term "womanism" helped me to see, protect and embrace the beauty of Black women's layered experiences throughout the world.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
Feminism has informed how I view the world. It's informed my personal decision to work in and write about social justice issues. It's informed my political decision to support all efforts of people power around the world.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I share my feminism with others through my poems and writings. I'm always sharing stories and ideals that hopefully influence readers to see the world from a more inclusive holistic perspective.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
To me a feminist world is a world that embraces knowledge, truth, empathy and accountability. In a local feminist world - society would create an atmosphere that appreciates and values the varying roles that women and girls have in the manifestation of new ideals and worlds. National and global feminism would take this appreciation/value and turn it into real tangible attribution - like an increase in leadership roles for women - like an equal pay for equal work - like full reproductive rights and etc.
How I Define Feminism:
My definition of feminism fluctuates because time and society fluctuates. We're always finding needs for improvement. But for now, I define feminism as the complete inclusion of women and girls in society as full human beings with full human rights - with full recognition of as creative, powerful and life-worthy human beings.
Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is a writer, poet and storyteller. Her articles focusing on social justice and pop-culture have garnered international acclaim. J.A.M.'s writings have been featured on the Huffington Post, Business Insider, LA Progressive, TV One, Black Commentator, SiriusXM, & AllAfrica.com. Readers also enjoy weekly posts on her personal blog, OurLegaci.com.