The White House has revealed a plan to renew commitments to uplift the lives of women and girls of color by executing ongoing solutions for the socio-economic issues they are facing. The research agenda for the next decade will be a collaborative effort between 25 institutions.
On Friday at the White House, a day-long summit “Advancing Equity for Women & Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade” will discuss this plan. It is being live-streamed here and below. Those watching the town hall are encouraged to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #YESSHECAN.
Melissa Harris Perry, the director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, is leading the event. Panelists featured at the summit have been working to empower women and girls in their own communities.
Perry said Friday that much of the research done on women and girls of color is “still too scarce and still too infrequently made public.”
She added that we have to be “ready to ask tough questions” in order to help the demographic which faces unique obstacles in America, including access to supportive educational and job opportunities, unequal pay, access to quality health care, prevalence to being victims of violence and a lack of role models in media who accurately represent them.
Last November, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report shedding light on those challenges and expanding opportunity for women and girls of color. President Obama spoke on the necessity to support women and girls of color, while at the Congressional Black Caucus 45th Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner earlier this year.
“When women of color aren’t given the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential, we all lose out on their talents; we’re not as good a country as we can be,” said Obama. “We might miss out on the next Mae Jemison or Ursula Burns or Serena Williams or Michelle Obama.”
Some of the research institutions that have pledged to produce scholarship as part of the research agenda include Bennett College, the University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University, Harvard University and Howard University School of Divinity.
Watch a What's at Stake ambassador talk about the importance of education in our community below.
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(Photo: Morris Melvin / Retna Ltd./Corbis)