On March 2, 2021 the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Co-Chairs Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-09), and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) held a virtual press conference to release the first-ever report on Black Women and Girls in America.
The report, titled The State of Black Women and Girls in 21st Century America: An Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities, is a collection of essays by Black women leaders who provide their perspectives on critical issues facing Black women and girls. In addition, the report proposes recommendations and legislative initiatives to eliminate barriers and promote opportunities for Black females.
“The report provides insight into the experiences and many challenges Black women and girls have faced, persevered through and overcome,” said Rep. Robin Kelly. “Our ultimate hope is that the report will encourage further discourse and bring forward ideas to elevate the lives of our Black sisters. Most importantly, we hope this report serves as a clarion call for change.”
“Far too often, the voices of Black women and girls go unheard, our issues go unaddressed and our community suffers for it. This report is a comprehensive and targeted strategy to advance legislative priorities, introduce policy positions and eliminate barriers plaguing our community,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. “I am so proud to work alongside my colleagues Congresswomen Kelly and Watson Coleman in the introduction of this report, which we hope will support Black women and girls, and shed light on — not only problems — but also solutions.”
“Since we founded the Caucus on Black Women and Girls, our mission has been to ensure that when we make policy, we consider the impact on Black women’s lives, the ways in which new laws will reduce or further entrench systemic issues and the unique lens with which this community sees the world,” Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said. “To do that effectively, we need a clear picture of where we stand, and this report offers that crucial information. I am grateful to Congresswoman Kelly for her commitment to opportunity and access for all communities — especially for the Black women that we’ve so often left out — and that includes work like this.”
The essays are authored by Congressional members, educators, entrepreneurs, healthcare and financial professionals and social activists who highlight a wide range of issues that impact Black women, including health care, economic disparities, public education and criminal justice. Some of the authors include Rep. Ayanna Pressley, (MA-07), Rep. Maxine Waters, (CA-43), Rep. Val Demings, (FL-10), Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Dorri Mc- Whorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Kelly Fair, founder of Polished Pebbles Mentoring Program in Chicago, Audra Wilson, President and CEO of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and Felicia Davis, President and CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women.
The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls was officially formed in 2016. The Caucus seeks to empower and elevate the voices for Black women and girls throughout the country and advance legislation important to their welfare.