June 08, 2023

CBWG Rereleases Extended Black Women Best Policy Framework for How to Center Black Women in Policymaking

The 145-page report lays out how bringing black women from the margins to the center of policy discussions benefits the entire economy

Washington, DC (June 8, 2023) – Today, the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, under the leadership of co-founder and co-chair Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), announced the re-release of an expanded version of “An Economy for All: Building a ‘Black Women Best’ Legislative Agenda” - a 145 page, comprehensive policy framework for how to center Black women at the root of policy-making, in order to achieve a more equitable, just future for all.

The report features two new sections, Food Justice and the Policy Pathways Legislative Recommendations Appendix. The Food Justice section hones in on Black women policymakers in food policy, breastfeeding justice, and includes comprehensive policy solutions to address reformation to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The Policy Pathways Legislative Recommendations Appendix provides readers with a comprehensive list of all the legislative recommendations in the report. 

The ‘Black Women Best’ report argues that Black women are among the last to recover from economic downturns & last to benefit during times of economic growth, therefore if our government brings Black women from the margins to the center and intentionally creates policies that pull Black women out of economic precarity - into economic prosperity, then everyone will benefit.

The report includes several specific policy solutions to close the gaps facing Black women, including instituting a guaranteed income, closing the Medicaid gap, a Federal Homes Guarantee, and funding community-based organizations to combat the maternal mortality crisis.


“While the Black Women Best agenda offers several important policy proposals, at its heart is the need to center policy on equity,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “Current and historic policy has, intentionally or not, put Black women at enormous disadvantages in such factors as health, education, housing, and overall economic stability. Gaps have emerged between Black women and their peers in each of these. By centering policy discussions on the needs of Black women, we can bring parity in ways that benefit everyone.”

"The resolution addressing the needs of Black women lays the foundation for change and healing,” said Barbara Bullard, President and CEO of the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute. “During America’s current moments of reckoning, we must legislate new social and economic policies to restore our humanity that continues to be systematically eroded.  Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s timeless legacy is a reminder that we can do exactly that." 

"The School-Based Health Alliance applauds the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls to address these critical issues of health and nutrition equity at the intersection of school environments and healthcare systems. As School-Based Health Centers continue to expand throughout the country, we look forward to contributing to these goals,” said Robert Boyd, President and CEO of School-Based Health Alliance. 

​​“It’s imperative that Congress pass H.Res.484. For far too long, Black women have been the target of harmful racist policies that impact their participation in public benefits programs,” said Parker Gilkesson, senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “The dismantling of public benefits and the implementation of punitive policies hurt everyone, but these actions carry disproportionate consequences for Black women and other people of color. When we uplift the needs of one of our most marginalized populations, we ultimately uplift the needs of everyone.” 

“Preeclampsia is one of the most common and severe disorders that occurs during pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies.” said Eleni Tsigas, Chief Executive Officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation. “The preeclampsia rate is 60 percent higher in black women than in white women, and black women are more likely to develop severe preeclampsia, leading to multiple adverse outcomes, including seizure, stroke, heart disease, infant growth restriction, preterm birth, and maternal and infant death. The Preeclampsia Foundation supports the Congresswoman’s efforts and this report to address maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.  Together we must work to find solutions to support Black women who experience preeclampsia and amplify their voices and experiences.” 

Yesterday, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman reintroduced a resolution to encourage the use of this framework, and those that complement it as a guideline to creating more inclusive policy-making that benefits all people, specifically Black women.

The resolution is cosponsored by Caucus co-chairs Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02).

The resolution is endorsed by the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute, the School-Based Health Care Alliance, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and the Preeclampsia Foundation.


The full ‘Building a “Black Women Best” Legislative Agenda can be found here.

The resolution can be found here.