By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer
The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) Intergenerational Public Policy Network released their sixth annual BWR Report, “Black Women in the U.S. & Key States, 2019: Centering Black Women & Girls Leadership & Public Policy Agenda in a Polarized Political Era.”
The BWR is the women and girls leadership development and power building arm of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), according to their press release. The report examines issues of concern for Black women throughout the nation. Many of the country’s leaders and organizers contributed to the document.
Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, served as editor-in-chief for the 2019 BWR Report. Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, NCBCP is also the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.
Over 1800 surveys were collected in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan and Mississippi, according to the executive summary.
The document lays out the landscape for a pivotal year for Black women.
“This year’s report uncovers where Black women stand, juxtaposed between a historic electoral season which resulted in record-breaking political representation and the beginning of a high-stakes Presidential race that includes an exceedingly diverse slate of candidates, including the third Black woman ever to launch a Presidential bid,” the executive statement said. “ In many ways, this historic moment seems to be one in which Black women are asserting their power like never before. Yet, they still face substantial challenges related to a wide ranging of deeply entrenched issues that have seen little movement over the years. This year’s report takes a deep look at this dichotomy and shares a multifaceted analysis of just where Black women are now, where we’ve been and where we’re going.”
The document highlighted the sweeping victories in Congress that Black women achieved particularly during the mid-term. Jahana Hayes (CT); Lucy McBath (GA); Ilhan Omar (MN); Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Lauren Underwood (IL) were praised for their wins, and Stacey Abrams was acknowledged for her narrow loss in the governor’s race for Georgia.
However, other lesser known wins were pulled out, such as the 2018 election of 17 black women as judges in Harris County, Texas after a campaign.
Results of their polling data clearly outlines what Black women considered to be priorities for them including, protecting safety net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Another top concern was protecting affordable healthcare the document stated.
Black women participate in the workforce more than their White, Asian or Hispanic counterparts, but don’t receive the same financial compensation. According to the report: Black women working full-time, year-round earned only 61 cents for every dollar earned by White male workers, compared to 77 cents for White women, 85 cents for Asian American women, and 53 cents for Latinas. Over a lifetime Black women stand to lose an estimated $946,120 over a 40-year career due to the wage gap, the report stated.
Over the next year the BWR will be launching initiatives to improve outcomes for Black women and to galvanize the power of the Black woman vote during the next election cycle.
For more information on the full report please go to https://www.ncbcp.org/programs/bwr/