White women are one of the most influential demographics in America—we are the largest voting bloc, with purchasing power that exceeds anybody else's, and when we unify to demand change, we are a force to be reckoned with.
Yet, so many of us sit idly on the sidelines, opting out of raising our hands to do, learn, and engage in ways that could make a difference. Why?
White American women are no monolith. Yet, as Women's March national organizer Jenna Arnold has learned over the past few years criss-crossing the US in conversations with white women about their identity and role in the country, we do possess common characteristics—ones that get in the way of us becoming more engaged as citizens. We're so focused on checking off our to-do lists, or so afraid of getting it wrong, or so busy trying to avoid conflict, that we are actively avoiding the urgent conversations we need to have.
We are confused about how we got here and unsure how to do better.
Raising Our Hands is the reckoning cry for white women. It asks us to step up and join the new frontlines of the fight against complacency—in our homes, in our behaviors, and in our own minds.
Consider Raising Our Hands your starting place, your "Intro to Being a White Woman in Today's World" freshman-year class. In these pages, Jenna peels back the history that's been kept out of textbooks and the cultural norms that are holding us back, so we can finally start really listening to marginalized voices and doing our part to promote progress.
The American white woman is a powerful force—an essential participant—to mobilize alongside the rest of humanity on behalf of the world, and we can no longer make excuses for why we don't have time or don't know enough.