There are 430 registered congressional caucuses and member organizations, but only one that focuses on Black women and girls. Thanks to Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), we now have a voice on Capital Hill.
According to a press release, the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls will be “devoted to public policy that eliminates the significant barriers and disparities experienced by Black women” by filling gap and proving “the same attention for women that President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative has given to Black men and boys.”
“Black women and girls are disproportionately affected by myriad socioeconomic issues that diminish their quality of life and threaten the wellbeing of their families and communities,” Rep. Kelly explained. “The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls gives Black women a seat at the table for the crucial discussion on the policies that impact them while also providing a framework for creating opportunities and eliminating barriers to success for Black women.”
Rep. Clarke said the purpose of the caucus is to finally give Black women and girl a voice.
“In many ways, 23.5 million Black women and girls are consistently left out of the national discourse on a variety of policies that will affect their lives,” she said. “This caucus will be purposed to ensure that the infrastructure of inclusion fully incorporates the varied and unique needs of Black women. Our experiences must and will inform the direction we take as a nation and we can no longer afford to be excluded from important conversations. I am proud to stand with my colleagues at the inception of this caucus to be a vehicle for change and look forward to the great work that we will do.”
The newly formed caucus was inspired by the #SheWoke Committee, a group of seven women from across the country who came together under the mission of advocacy, equity, and sisterhood.
Sharon Cooper, a #SheWoke committee member and sister of Sandra Bland, thanked the members of congress for responding to their call to action with “urgency.”
“In January, we launched a petition asking our national leaders to create a space that prioritizes Black women and girls, and here we are in March with a platform that will serve as a vehicle towards change,” Cooper said. “We lift up all the Black women and girls who have lost their lives without press coverage, all the Black women and girls who are fighting for our collective liberation, and the Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, who responded in the way all elected officials should: with urgency. #SheWoke looks forward to supporting the efforts of this Caucus, and empowering Black women and girls through policy and advocacy.”