Historic Congressional Caucus for Black Women, Girls Created

Inspired by the advocacy of the #SheWoke Committee, three women in congress created The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls the first-ever caucus dedicated to removing barriers and disparities experienced by Black women.


U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) formed the caucus to make Black women and girls a priority in policy debates.

Sharon Cooper is one of the seven founding members of the #SheWoke Committee, a grassroots organization of activists who advocate for Black women’s rights. “Woke” refers to being aware and in the know. Cooper is also the sister of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old Black woman who was found dead in a Waller County, Texas jail cell three days after being pulled over.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Rep. Watson Coleman stated the caucus will “speak up” for Black women, who deserve a voice in a policy making that addresses systemic challenges.

“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,” she said in a press release distributed last week.

Related Story: State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Fired

Out of the more than 430 registered congressional caucuses and member organizations, no group on Capitol Hill has sought to bring attention to the needs of Black women and girls in creating policies. For example, Black Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites, and 1 in 100 Black women are in prison. And, Black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or ethnicity.

Related Story: School Cop Fired Following Violent Arrest of Black Student

The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls intends to fill that gap, and provide 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,” said Rep. Kelly.

Rep. Clark offered the caucus will ensure the “infrastructure of inclusion” incorporates the needs of Black women.

“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,” stated Rep. Clarke. “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.”

Cooper said the #SheWoke Committee will support the efforts of the caucus.

“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,” she said.

Latest News

Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.)

Rep. Jahana Hayes Attacked in Racist Campaign Town Hall; 1 in 4 Americans Unemployed According to New Data from Axios; and More

Racist trolls interrupt Zoom town hall hosted by Jahana Hayes, Connecticut’s first Black congresswoman. “I am not OK,” wrote Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) in a moving post describing a violent attack that took place at one of her recent campaign events. Ten minutes into the Zoom town hall for one…

reproductive, benefits, workplace

The Importance of Reproductive Benefits in the Workplace

With President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to take the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, the issue of reproductive rights has again become a hot button topic. While Ginsburg repeatedly voted against restrictions on birth control and abortion access, the historically conservative Barrett is expected to tip the…

International African American Museum Receives New Markets Tax Credits from TD Community Development Corporation

Originally published on newscenter.td.com. TD’s investment will help the non-profit create 186 new jobs, exhibit space TD Community Development Corporation (TDCDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TD Bank, N.A., announced today its allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, to assist…

TIAA Survey Reveals Saving for Retirement is the No. 1 Contributor to Feeling Financially Resilient for Working Individuals, but 60% of People are Falling Behind Goals

Originally published on TIAA.com. The global COVID-19 pandemic not only presents a tremendous threat to people’s health and lives, but is also challenging the financial security of families across the nation. According to new research released today by TIAA, a leading financial services provider, nearly 60 percent of adults say…

domestic, violence, awareness

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resources

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month takes place in October to raise awareness about this critical social and public health issue. One out of every four women and one out of every 10 men will experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime according to…