Last Tuesday, Black women everywhere were jumping for joy.
Three Black women (U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) made history by forming the first and only Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls! Hip Hip Hooray! Let’s give these ladies a round of applause!
As a group, the caucus is devoted to create public policy that eliminates barriers and disparities continuously experienced by black women. Rep. Kelly told The Huffington Post, “Black women and girls are disproportionately affected by a myriad of socioeconomic issues that diminish their quality of life and threaten the well-being of their families and communities.” The caucus will address issues such as economic equity, education, wellness and safety.
The formation of the caucus was inspired by Ifeoma Ike, who is the co-founder of Black and Brown People Vote and a member of the #SheWoke committee (other black women’s rights advocates include: Nakisha M. Lewis, Tiffany D. Hightower, Shambulia Gadsden Sams, Sharisse Stancil-Ashford, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever and Sharon Cooper). The committee was formed along with a petition that called on Congress members to create a space for black women’s issues to be heavily discussed and put at the forefront.
It is important that politicians address these issues instead of ignoring the challenges black women face on a regular basis. There are very few policies that actually address the issues that affect black women, so our voices deserve to be heard in policymaking decisions.
With the likes of Sandra Bland and other untold stories of black women’s injustices, the development of this caucus could not have come at a better time. The presence and opinions of authority figures, such as the women mentioned above, will benefit how issues are addressed since they have an idea of what needs to be done to improve black women’s development in society.
For more information on the caucus visit takepart.com.