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Community Voices: Mary Pryor

"Speaking as a Black woman, I can say that equality is an item that I have never, ever seen."

Mary Pryor | Co-Founder | Cannaclusive | New York, New York

What do equality and equity in the Cannabis industry mean to you?

We’re still fighting for both in totality. Equality is to have equal rights and access to items – health care, food, schooling – based upon the damaging ramifications and the absurdity of racism. Equity is being able to have invested interest that evolves into tangible and recognized, not only wealth – but credit, access, and ownership of said involvement – in anything relating to industries that have been built off of the backs of BIPOC, Indigenous, melanated communities. In this case, speaking as a Black woman, I can say that equality is an item that I have never, ever seen, and more than likely will never see as an individual who is melanated, because of how deep and how far we think white supremacy has gone in this country. Not only has it divided us in race, it’s divided us across gender, it’s divided us across ethnicity, it’s divided us across so many levels within our own communities – whether we’re white or not white, to where it’s just an automatic, horrible instrument of discord, dissension, hate, anger, and misunderstanding. Equity is the item that I still have to beg, plead and fight for in terms of access, influence, and total erasure that I have to bring up, in terms of … said items that have been built off of my likeness, my culture, and my imprisonment. When we talk about Cannabis, that is that.

About Tom Bowers

Tom Bowers is in this with all of you.

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of all Leaf Magazines.

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