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Not Throw Away Women: Black and Indigenous Women Disrupt Violence

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On this week’s show we’re exploring how some women have been dehumanized to the point of indifference.

We’ll learn how one community is undoing the silence around the violence women of color face. We’ll also hear about how serial killers were able to hunt down mostly Black women for three decades in South Los Angeles. Then we’ll take you to the Yucatan where pregnant indigenous women struggle under a health care system failing to provide proper medical care.


  • Rochelle Robinson, Making Contact Fellow
  • Kimberly Smith, community member attending Her Resilience mural project
  • Gabrielle Rae Travis,  Her Resilience Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Margaret Prescod founder of Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders and host of KPFK’s Sojourner Truth
  • Mirna Aracely Tuz Acosta, Safe Maternity for the Indigenous Population in East Yucatan
  • Neyi Amparo Cime Arceo, resident of Xanlah.

Thanks to the Mary Wohlford Foundation for funding towards this program.

Normalizing Violence Puts Black Women’s Lives at Risk

Making Contact’s fellow Rochelle Robinson brings us this story exploring how violence against women, especially women of color, is so pervasive that we’re numbed into thinking it’s nothing less than normal. While the homicide rate for Black women has decreased over the years nationwide, in 2010, the rate was twice as high for Black women than all female victims combined.  In this story the first voice you’ll hear is Kimberly Smith, and then Rochelle Robinson as they talk about their own brushes with death.

How Serial Killers Stalked Black Women in South Los Angeles

In the 1980s in South Los Angeles more than a dozen black women were murdered. Many of these women’s bodies were found in parks, alleyways, and dumpsters.It’s believed somewhere between 3 and 5 different serial killers were targeting the South LA community in the 80s and 90s. One suspect, Lonnie Franklin, Jr., the so-called Grim Sleeper, is facing 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.  Chester Turner has already been convicted for killing 14 women. As these murders continued for three decades, Margaret Prescod and her group, The Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, were the few people to warn community members.  Margaret is featured in a documentary by British filmmaker Nick Broomfield called Tales of The Grim Sleeper. Throughout those years the Black Coalition has been critical of the Los Angeles Police Department and city officials, demanding more coverage and attention for the murders.  Margaret talks about what it was like trying to get the LAPD and the city to take the murders seriously. This piece was produced by Laura Flynn.

Obstetric Violence in Mexico

In Mexico an indigenous woman is three times more likely to die during childbirth or postpartum than a non indigenous woman. Both culture and government policies play a role in the violation of their rights, which often leads to death. Reporter Jasmin Lopez went to the Yucatan to find out more. This piece was produced in collaboration with  reporter Karen Tenorio.

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