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UAB provost and YWCA leader share social media platform

  • September 16, 2020
UAB will participate in the #SharetheMicNow campaign, to magnify Black women in communities across the country and the important work they are doing.
Written by: Karen Templeton
Media Contact: Brianna Hoge

Benoit sharethemicPam Benoit and LaRhonda Magras, Ed.D.On Sept. 18, University of Alabama at Birmingham Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Pam Benoit and YWCA Central Alabama’s Chief Executive Officer LaRhonda Magras are teaming up as part of the national #SharetheMicNow campaign.

The #SharetheMicNow campaign’s mission is to magnify Black women in communities across the country and the important work they are doing. The campaign was founded by Bozoma St. John, chief marketing officer for Netflix, Stacey Bendet, chief executive officer for Alice + Olivia, and authors and speakers Luvvy Ajaya Jones and Glennon Doyle.

“When the world listens to women, it listens to white women,” #ShareTheMicNow’s mission statement reads. “For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly for centuries to enact change.” The campaign kicked off on June 10 with white female celebrities lending their Instagram accounts to Black women in an attempt to amplify voices and perspectives. UAB graduate Jasmine Shaw of “QueensBeLike” podcast has brought the #SharetheMicNow campaign to Birmingham. 

“It is such an honor to have my alma mater participate in such a trailblazing event,” Shaw said.  “The city of Birmingham has a very rich civil rights history, and I see this campaign as a tribute to the countless men and women who fought for peace and equality just a few decades ago. The late Congressman John Lewis once said, ‘If not us, then who? If not now, then when?’; so, I chose to utilize my skills to help raise awareness for the plight of Black Americans by shining a light on an often-overlooked population. Black women have been leading from the shadows for far too long, and #SharetheMicNow allows their brilliance to take the forefront.”

Provost Pam Benoit will lend her Instagram platform @pam_benoit_uab to LaRhonda Magras, Ed.D., on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Magras will share public policy initiatives the YWCA seeks to address and will also kick off the organization’s 21-day racial equity and social justice challenge.

“We work to empower women, and sometimes that means being their voice by advocating on their behalf until they are able to do so themselves,” Magras said. “It is imperative that we use our platforms to magnify the voices of Black women who are often marginalized and undervalued. It is because of the support we receive from allies such as Dr. Benoit that we share the mic and the work toward racial justice. Our hope for #SharetheMicNow is to share the lived experiences and perspectives of Black women. At YWCA Central Alabama, our mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and create a more just world for all. And we will stay on the front lines of the issues that matter for as long as it takes.”

Thirteen Black female Birmingham professionals will be taking over well-known Birmingham business and nonprofit Instagram accounts to share their voices, their stories and their perspectives.  

“I am so honored that UAB was asked to participate in the campaign and am especially glad to be sharing a platform with Dr. Magras,” Benoit said. “I look at this campaign as a way to tune into conversations about race and to learn specifically what initiatives we can become involved in to truly make changes in our society. I invite the UAB community and beyond to tune in on Sept. 18 and to experience new voices and perspectives.”