WASHINGTON — Joanelle Romero (Apache/Cheyenne), founder and president of the Native Women in Film & Television, was selected by the White House United State of Women summit held in Washington, D.C. on June 14 and 15.
The White House United State of Women summit brought together a diverse group of
business leaders, academics, activists, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and others to focus on issues critical to women. The summit was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
Princella RedCorn and Joanelle Romero
One women’s issue that resonated with Romero was violence against women.
“Writing the Violence Against Women Act has been one of my proudest accomplishments. And I know that the particular blend of intellectual horsepower and passion in this room today can only mean one thing: Good things will happen. Change is coming,” stated Vice President Joseph Biden in remarks to summit participants.
After hearing the vice president speak, Romero was inspired and motivated to
act now. She turned to her friend from the National Indigenous Resource
Center, Princella RedCorn and asked her, lets partner and make a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign video right now on uplifting our Native women, seeing that Ms. RedCorn had a video camera and sound equipment.
“Violence against women is so much more to me than just men abusing us,” says Romero.
“We need to break the glass ceiling with the Native Women in Film & Television Initiative, moving forward in the inclusion of Native women on prime-time television NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX. The White House United State of Women was the first of many conversations that will continue in this ground-breaking call to action, led by Joanelle Romero.”
The PSA was made in hopes to uplift Native women and Native Youth throughout Indian Country.
Romero has spent four decades in the entertainment industry. Her career includes her work to establish the Red Nation Celebration Institute, Red Nation Television Network, the Red Nation Film Festival, Native Women in Film & Television, its programs and initiatives.
“We were enthusiastic to bring the voices of Native Women in Film & Television with its initiative to the global conversation on women and girls and the challenges we face together, in our lifetimes,” stated Romero in a release that stated the Los Angeles-based founder president had been invited by the White House.
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Winona LaDuke Honor the Earth, Jenna Cavelle, Ted Wagner Jr, Ralph Roybal, Gibb Gibb Cinniginnie, Patricia Miller, Christina Lorenzatto, Betty Billups, and 2 anonymous donors assisted with their generous support to help Romero with expenses for her Washington, D.C. trip.
Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.