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Black women fighting for Black women in Indianapolis

Posted at 2:05 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 14:20:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A sit-in at the statehouse Wednesday night was the latest demonstrations for change that Indianapolis has seen over the last few weeks. This time, the focus was on women fighting against police brutality.

Take a quick look at just about any of the recent protests here in Indianapolis and across the nation, and it won't take you long to find a Black woman taking charge at the front of the movement.

"We've always done the work; we need the support. We need the support because we've always done the work," Raeven Ridgell, the National Action Chair "Don't Sleep," said.

That's part of the energy fueling the cause for the "Don't Sleep" sit-in on Wednesday night in the shadows of the Indiana State Capitol. As National Action Chair, Ridgell's goal is to fight for Black women who fight for everyone else, while sparking action on several issues Black women face every day.

"Whether it be maternal health mortality, going missing at alarming rates, sexual violence, domestic abuse, and so many health disparities, we can't even fathom," Ridgell said at the sit-in.

The women of Don't Sleep are calling on both lawmakers and citizens to get to work and improve the lives of Black women in America. They say there is work legislators inside the statehouse who can do to take the issues on paper, and people outside the building can make sure people inside are getting it done.

"A lot of the time, we are the ones who are lifting the paperwork. We're the ones going in the statehouse asking representatives for meetings," Iisha Wesley, who is part of Don't Sleep, said. "A lot of the time we are the ones out fighting going up to police stations begging for our Black men to be let out of jail off of senseless crimes, yet we're lost."

The women leading yet another charge say that these messages are for anyone with ears.