[Bkn-school-of-education-csp-mhc] What Would REAL LOVE for Women and Girls of Color Look Like?

Zalika Taylor Zalika.Taylor at liu.edu
Mon Sep 28 11:18:59 EDT 2015

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What Would REAL LOVE For Women and Girls of Color Look Like?

“I want to talk more about what we have to do to provide full opportunity and equality for our women and girls in America today,” said President Obama in his speech<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=fdf0a3010c&e=be3e51dd4b> to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday. Too often Black women have been left searching<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=e6a1cb3aec&e=be3e51dd4b> for -- as Mary J Blige put it -- that “real love” from American society. With these words the President expressed what we hope to be the beginning of some long-awaited real love for Black women and girls.

While applauding Black women’s role as civic leaders and social change agents, President Obama also pointed to the racial inequalities this population continues to experience. “In these discussions a lot of my focus has been on African American men and the work we are doing with My Brother’s Keeper,” he said. “We can’t forget the impact the system has on women as well.”

The African American Policy Forum commends the President for his recognition of the barriers to equality Black women continue to face in American society. As we expressed in our open letter<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=63030c3f2f&e=be3e51dd4b> 15 months ago, “women and girls of color are not doing fine, and until they are, men and boys will not be doing fine either.” We look forward<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=90bfba998f&e=be3e51dd4b> to seeing what concrete action the White House will take to follow through on the impetus to support women and girls of color expressed in his speech.

This is a groundbreaking moment that cannot be separated from the tireless efforts of those of us in the #WhyWeCantWait <http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=4c0fea9fc8&e=be3e51dd4b> campaign to shed light on the need to support women and girls of color. As Brittney Cooper put it on the Melissa Harris-Perry<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=f25f8041ba&e=be3e51dd4b> Show, “When you help Black women and girls, you help everybody...so it’s a wonderful moment. It’s such a Sister Citizen moment too, there’s the politics of recognition. My question becomes: will we see it happen in substantive policy changes?”

Black women and all women of color continue to experience alarming barriers to equality across a range of concerns, including educational attainment, state and interpersonal violence, disproportionate incarceration, and disparities in health and wealth. As the African American Policy Forum’s #HerDreamDeferred Series highlighted, women of color in their economic prime have a median net wealth<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=c587d7e500&e=be3e51dd4b> of just $5, and Black women were the only group whose unemployment rates didn’t fall in 2014 during the so-called economic recovery. Black women also experience persistent health disparities -- Black women with advanced degrees have worse birth outcomes<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=5b72539deb&e=be3e51dd4b> than white women without high school diplomas. In our public education system, when compared to their same gender peers, Black girls<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=360e565c80&e=be3e51dd4b> experience a greater risk of punitive discipline than Black boys. Girls of color also experience gender specific burdens, including teen pregnancy, caretaking responsibilities, and sexual abuse in and outside school.

Yet largely due to an information gap<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=5ac25fbad4&e=be3e51dd4b> on the status of women and girls of color, the persistent myth that they are doing “just fine” continues to feed a cycle of marginalization in which resources and data collection are not directed toward this population. If the President truly wants to “provide full opportunity and equality” for women of color, he must advance targeted strategies that get to the systemic root causes of the crisis facing people of color in this country. He must expand programs like My Brother’s Keeper to include ALL people of color, while ensuring that these programs advance institutional change and go beyond individual level interventions.

In the spirit of his commitment to further uplift women and girls of color, join us in calling on President Obama to use his remaining time in office to take meaningful action in this arena.

  *   This is an unprecedented moment in which to shed light on the needs of women and girls of color. What actions can the White House take now? What do you think REAL LOVE for women and girls of color would look like? CLICK HERE<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=73af452afd&e=be3e51dd4b>to tell us what you think and how you would like to get involved.

  *   Want to support AAPF’s ability to keep bringing you #WhyWeCantWait content and resources? FOLLOW<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=69d9e69146&e=be3e51dd4b> our YouTube channel!

  *   If you have not yet signed our open letters calling for MBK’s expansion to include all genders, CLICK HERE<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=368423ba5d&e=be3e51dd4b> to sign the women’s letter and HERE<http://aapf.us8.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=b6274da708&e=be3e51dd4b> to sign the men’s letter.

Please also join us in sharing the above image along with the following #WhyWeCantWait Tweets and composing your own:

  *   We say #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=ab4b3e766d&e=be3e51dd4b> today in hopes that there will not be another Black woman's name on a hashtag tomorrow. aapf.org<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=f9fe0f7e47&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   We got @POTUS<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=b275bd707a&e=be3e51dd4b> to speak about issues facing Black women. Now we have to lift our voices even louder to get him to act! #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=8b377984f5&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   We appreciate Obama’s speech, but we think even more can be done to show REAL LOVE for Black women and girls. #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=4c6b1fe2d2&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   Words help, but Black women and girls need to see action. We challenge @POTUS<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=f226aab9af&e=be3e51dd4b>to act on his recent vows to support them. #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=33d2ce06b2&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   Obama called for "full opportunity" for Black women. A good first step would be opening #MyBrothersKeeper<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=50b055002a&e=be3e51dd4b> to women and girls. #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=36b1ccd93c&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   Nationally Black girls are suspended 6X more than white girls. How will @POTUS<http://aapf.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=5f81e21789&e=be3e51dd4b>combat the disparities in our public schools? #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=9b9b918315&e=be3e51dd4b>

  *   Black Women have a median net wealth of just $5. How will @POTUS<http://aapf.us8.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=29f5c73f7c&e=be3e51dd4b> help “get them some ten dollar bills"? #WhyWeCantWait<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=b7fe642ffe&e=be3e51dd4b>

“Historically, it has been the advocacy and agitation of those marginalized by American society that has advanced our collective agendas,” said Kimberle Crenshaw, Executive Director of the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies. “This is true of women and girls of color now more than ever. We must continue to push for the advancement of women and girls of color as part of holistic racial justice agenda.”

This moment would not have happened without us raising our voices to demand the recognition of our rights, and we must remember that this is not the end of our collective responsibility. President Obama’s speech was a great first step--but the fight is not over. Support for women and girls cannot be just rhetorical. Just as men and boys need specific interventions, so to do women and girls.

Together, let’s advance an inclusive vision of racial justice that targets the systemic root causes of racial and gender inequality. Let’s demand REAL LOVEfor ourselves and our sisters!


About the African American Policy Forum
Founded in 1996, AAPF was developed as part of an ongoing effort to promote women’s rights in the context of struggles for racial equality. It serves as an information clearinghouse that works to bridge the gap between scholarly research and public debates on questions of inequality, discrimination and injustice.
Website: www.aapf.org<http://aapf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1f7469c760da7a8817f6c20&id=7f6c7cecfa&e=be3e51dd4b>
Email Address: afampolicyforum at gmail.com<mailto:afampolicyforum at gmail.com>
Phone Number: (212) 854-8041<tel:%28212%29%20854-8041>
Mailing Address:
African American Policy Forum, Inc.
435 West 116th Street, Rm. 827
New York, NY 10025

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