These Congresswomen just announced the 1st Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls
March 23, 2016 at 1:59 pm
The transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month has been nothing short of fluid and phenomenal. On March 22, three black women, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12,) Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.,) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) made history as they announced the emergence of the first Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
The three women described their achievement as “the first caucus devoted to public policy that eliminates the significant barriers and disparities experienced by Black women.” Out of a total of 430 registered congressional caucuses and member organizations, this one is the first and only that puts black women and their needs at the helm.
“From barriers in education to a gender-based pay gap that widens with race, to disparities in both diagnoses and outcomes for many diseases, our society forces black women to clear many hurdles faced by no other group and asks them to do it with little assistance,” states Watson Coleman. “Black women deserve a voice in a policy making process that frequently minimizes, or altogether ignores the systemic challenges they face. This caucus will speak up for them.”
The caucus stemmed from the founder of a civic engagement project by Ifeoma Ike that “prioritizes underrepresented voices in the current political climate, Black and Brown People Vote,” along with Sharon Cooper, Tiffany D. Hightower, Nakisha M. Lewis, Shambulia Gadsden Sams, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, and Sharisse Stancil-Ashford of the #SheWoke committee. This group of 7 powerful black women advocate for the rights of those that look like them, on a shared platform of “advocacy, equity, and sisterhood.”
Nakisha M. Lewis took to Twitter to share the good news:
— Nakisha M. Lewis (@NakLew) March 22, 2016
Ike told the Huffington Post that the aim of the caucus is much like that of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” campaign, which she helped in part to form, but says she didn’t feel it was reciprocated. “I felt like I was supporting my brother but I didn’t feel like my story or any of my sister’s stories were included.” Keep in mind that we are only 3 months into 2016, because Ike also relayed that the ideas for not only the Caucus but for #SheWoke were formed just this year. All apart of a conversation for action that would put black women and their issues where they belong — front and center.
The launch reception for the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls is to be held on April 28 in Washington, D.C. If this doesn’t just scream #BlackGirlMagic to the mountain tops, then I don’t know what does.