About Time: First Caucus Created Specifically for Black Women and Girls


The caucus was created to break down racial and gender barriers.

Three Black congresswomen confirmed the creation of the Congressional Black Caucus for Women and Girls. This caucus came as a response to the #SheWoke committee, whose members, including the sister of Sandra Bland, petitioned for congress to create a special caucus for Black females.

Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) incidentally announced the creation of the caucus on the same day as the arraignment for Brian Encinia, the arresting officer of Sandra Bland.

After both the announcement of the caucus as well as the non-guilty perjury plea of Encinia, Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, admitted, “March 22 will undoubtedly be an emotionally charged day for [her] family.”

The caucus not only came as response to the aforementioned committee, but also as a way to include members of the African-American community who were excluded by My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative “to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.”

In the press release for the caucus, Representative Kelly explained, “Black women and girls are disproportionately affected by a myriad [of] socioeconomic issues that diminish their quality of life and threaten the well-being of their families and communities. 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.”

Based on the reactions thus far, this caucus should provide a substantial way for Black women and girls alike to not only realize but also actualize their full potential.

In no way does the caucus immediately eliminate the prejudices and hindrances Black women face in society, but it is hoped that it will provide an immense growth of more positive outcomes in the Black female community.

(Photo: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

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