Featuring Musimbi Kanyoro

Hope is a form of resistance

About Musimbi

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is president and CEO of Global Fund for Women. Born in Kenya, she is an activist for women’s and girls’ health and human rights and promotes the use of philanthropy and technology to drive social change. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin, and a doctorate in feminist theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. In 2014, she was named one of the twenty-one women leaders for the twenty-first century by Women’s eNews. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her one of ten women “power brands” working for gender equality.

We had the opportunity to interview author Musimbi Kanyoro, whose essay “Hope, Justice, Feminism and Faith” appears in All the Women in My Family Sing. This is what we learned…

What inspired you to write your essay for this anthology?

The editor was my first inspiration. Deborah Santana is credible and a role model for me.  Sharing my story with the world was inspiring because as a woman of color sometimes I have limited space to share.

What is one of the most memorable challenges you have experienced as a woman of color in the twenty-first century?

I am African and often there is not enough recognition of the long way I have travelled to be CEO of the largest Women’s Human Rights Fund in the world.

Give an example of women’s roles in today's social justice movement.

#MeToo is a campaign going on now which should have happened long time ago. Sexual abuse of women is rampant everywhere. Women have brought many issues to the public and gender-based violence and sexual abuse are just two which define women as leaders of human rights and social justice.

What have your experiences been in leadership as a woman of color? 

I have been a first in many spaces of leadership and the fact that I am a Black woman always means I have to provide proof of higher demands on me and I can never let go the responsibility that I carry lest it defines the future generations of Black women. I am more of a Black African woman than a woman of color.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading this book?

Readers will become c- travelers with us. I hope they will be willing to embrace the experience, and try to imagine with us.