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Lena Dunham Previews Her Lenny Newsletter with Chat About Sandra Bland

2 minute read

Lena Dunham and Girls showrunner Jenni Konner have been touting their newsletter Lenny on social media for some time. But while they’ve garnered a lot of interest in the project — which will cover topics such as “feminism, style, health, politics, friendship and everything else,” beginning in autumn 2015 — it’s been unclear what the newsletter would actually include.

Until now.

On Monday, Lenny subscribers received a “special preview” of the newsletter entitled “Sandra Bland’s Legacy.” The message features illustrations by Nathalie Ramirez and a Q&A between Dunham and Chenai Okammor, a colleague and friend of Sandra Bland, who was arrested and later died while in police custody in July. Before her death, Bland had worked with Okammor to build a website, called Woman4Woman, that was meant to connect and empower women. (The website was launched Monday.)

Throughout the conversation between Dunham and Okammor, the two women discuss Bland, the circumstances of her arrest and death, and the concept of women connecting and learning from one another. Okammor also shares memories about Bland and explains why their website was so important to her:

Sandy said to me, “I’m 28 and I’m just now beginning to identify what I stand for. I do know that when something is wrong, it bothers me so much that I take it to heart.” When she started working on this project I asked her what she wanted to accomplish with it. She said, “I want to be able to share my story with young women out there.” Because she still thought she was alone in her quirkiness.

She also discusses Bland’s death, comparing the treatment the young woman faced at the hands of police in Texas with Okammor’s own past in Zimbabwe. “And you know it’s always the women who hold up the country in times of war,” Okammor says. “It’s the women who hold up anything or everything. That’s why we’re doing this.”

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