To: The United States House of Representatives

MoreThanAHashtag : Unified Call For Congressional Action to Address Inequities Faced by Black Wom...

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We collectively call for our nationally elected officials to establish a congressional response that 1) champions legislation that aims to improve the social, economic, and overall quality of life for Black women and girls; 2) supports initiatives that prioritize the overlooked, oppressed and marginalized; and 3) creates spaces to enable the sharing of expertise, experiences, and recommendations from and by Black women and girls.

Why is this important?

As we approach the peak of the presidential season, far too little focus has centered on the issues concerning one of the strongest voting blocs: Black women. Despite outperforming every other demographic in the last two elections, the conditions of Black women and their families continues to remain ignored, entering national dialogue usually upon tragedy or violence. Even with national platforms intended to focus on violence against women, the significant disparities faced by millions of Black women and girls in the workplace, schools, and streets are, at best, underprioritized. Heirs of the tangled oppression of slavery, sexism, classism, and invisibility, equity in America will never truly be actualized until Black women and girls can exist as full citizens of America--in fact, policy and by law.

What is the status of Black women and girls today?

Black women constitute 13% of the population of US women, yet 30% of all incarcerated women. Nearly 4.1 million families are headed by Black women--37% of which live below the poverty level. Student debt takes up 111 percent of Black women’s income. The closing of facilities that provide general care for women impacts millions of low-income women who count on these local institutions as their primary source of care. 300 girls in the Atlanta area are lured into sex trafficking each month--the average age being 14. Black girls are suspended six times more often than white girls. Every year, 1, 722 Black women die from breast cancer--an average of five Black women a day! The maternal mortality rate of Black women in America is more than 10 times that of women in most industrialized nations. And as we witnessed with the case of Sandra Bland, no aspect of the American Dream--her college degree, new job, affiliation in a historically Black Greek-lettered organization, or zip code--could provide Sandra security.

We can no longer be silent about our realities and that of our sisters, mothers, partners and friends.

Who’s Got US?

#SheWoke Committee:

Sharon Cooper, Wife and Mother, Advocate, corporate professional, Sister of Sandra Bland

Ifeoma Ike, Writer, Dreamer, Co-Creator of BlackandBrownPeopleVote

Nakisha M. Lewis, Philanthropic Strategist, Writer, Activist

Tiffany D. Hightower, Organizer, Writer, & Orator

Shambulia Gadsden Sams, Activist & Organizer

Sharisse Stancil-Ashford, Artist & Activist

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Founder of Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women