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It started with my mom, Buddy, and later my Aunt Nettie…the two most influential women in my early life. Decades later, I still depend on women to make my life better. That’s immediately evident should you drop by the Red Velvet Cake Studio or our Reach Media offices, where 80 percent of the people who make the Tom Joyner Morning Show a success are female, by design.

When we first talked about #DayWithoutAWoman with Jacque Reid and her guest Janaye Reid, one of the organizers, I got pushback from some men and even a few women who asked how will staying home from work be helpful. What will it prove?

All I can say is I’m sure the same questions were asked about the Civil Rights marches. The one thing about boycotts, protests, sit-ins…and I’ve done them all, is that the results are rarely immediate. The key is persistence, commitment and the willingness to make sacrifices.

In this world where smart phones and TVs bring us immediate gratification, it’s tough convincing some people to wait for rewards in the future that may not even come in their lifetime. It’s even tougher convincing when their show of solidarity can result in lost wages or losing a job completely, not to mention lots of judgment and ridicule.

Even though there was no social media during the Civil Rights era, there was a lot of activism going on. Aside from the people you’ve seen on the frontlines in magazine photos and documentaries, there were thousands of people behind the scenes making it happen.

Phone calls, logistics, food service, transportation, lodging, first aid, etc., all had to be organized and paid for. Many people whose names are nowhere in the history books generously sacrificed their time and money for the struggle. Hey, flyers didn’t make themselves and there were no Kinko’s or smartphone apps that would make that job at lot easier.

I’m very proud of the role Black radio played in the movement, being primarily responsible for letting the people know what was happening and where.

The point is, as Shaun King frequently points out, there’s never an excuse for doing nothing when it relates to a cause you believe in. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or #DayWithoutAWoman, or protests organized by Rev. Al’s National Action Network or the ACLU’s People Power endorsed by Shaun King, your help is needed. And you can do it your way! If you cannot miss work, do something else.

My co-host Sybil, executive producer Kim Nelson-Ingram and other staff members were determined to take a meaningful stand on this day and I support them 100 percent. I have to admit, I could not afford to bring our morning show to a grinding halt by losing them for a day, but like so many others who are protesting and representing in other ways, they put together a show that celebrated women through music and content. Sybil posted a video expressing her thoughts about the importance of the day here on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

For those who feel like what we did wasn’t enough then you better make sure you’re doing something more. Don’t waste time and energy, no matter what your cause is, criticizing or feeling some kind of way because of what others are doing or not doing. If you’re hating, you’re usually faking, so stop it. Don’t tell me what others aren’t doing, tell me what you’re doing!

Happy International Women’s Day to the 80 percent of my employees who make the TJMS happen every morning and to the 20 percent who support and appreciate them, thank you to you too.

The current administration is turning back the hands of time, chipping away at the rights for everyone, but especially women, as things like the right to choose and the attack on meaningful and important services like Planned Parenthood are under attack.

The majority of Black households in this country are headed by women, so if the GOP’s version of Affordable Health Care passes, who will be hurt the most? Who will be the primary caretakers for elderly parents if Medicaid and other subsidies are cut? More than 70 percent of the teaching force is female. What happens when public school closures increase even faster as more middle class families, Black and white, flock to charter and private schools?

Women still aren’t getting equal pay and if they’re married and have children they’re most likely carrying more than their share of the load. This isn’t just a women’s struggle – this is another Civil Rights struggle and we all have to understand what will happen to this nation and to individual families if women are no longer able to contribute. That’s what #DayWithoutAWoman is all about. Get involved in making sure the marginalization of women ends

Recognize a woman’s worth…not just on March 8th, but everyday!

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