It started small.
In 2000, our founders organized a little conference. It was primarily for a small group of impassioned women of color activists who were fed up with existing organizations that couldn't (or wouldn't) address violence faced by women of color.
They wanted to understand and actively confront violence while placing women of color at the center. That meant including attacks on immigrants' rights and Indigenous treaty rights, the proliferation of prisons, militarism, attacks on the reproductive rights of women of color, medical experimentation on communities of color, homophobia/heterosexism, hate crimes against queer women of color, economic neo-colonialism, institutional racism, and more.
But as news about the event spread, the conference grew really fast. Women of color from across the U.S. made urgent calls asking to be included in the discussion, imploring us to find a larger venue, and insisting that we consider creating a longer-term response to violence against women of color. Ultimately, two thousand women of color attended the conference; more than two thousand had to be turned away.
This desperate flood of interest made it clear to our founders that a conference alone wasn't going to cut it. We had touched, and needed to tend to, a collective raw nerve. INCITE! began that same year.
Although it started as a movement explicitly consisting of people who identify as women of color, INCITE! members have been deepening our understanding of how colonization and white supremacy in the US affect the constructing (and policing) of gender. We've also been developing a political space where people of color who are trans or gender non-conforming are integral.
Since our small beginnings in 2000, INCITE! has grown into grassroots chapters and affiliates across the country; launched political projects mobilizing our communities against violence; held follow-up conferences and events, and sparked critical dialogue through writing, art and other media.