CBWG Releases Black Women Best policy Framework for How to Center Black Women

The 133-page report lays out how bringing Black women from the margins to the center of policy discussions benefits the entire economy

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Washington, DC, March 28, 2022 | comments

Today, the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, under the leadership of co-founder Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) released “An Economy for All: Building a ‘Black Women Best’ Legislative Agenda” a 133-page comprehensive policy framework for how to center Black women at the root of policymaking to achieve a more equitable and just future for all. 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 and 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 and into economic prosperity, then everyone will benefit.

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

“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 whether 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.”

“Black women have been intentionally left behind in our economy for generations. Today, we release the Black Women Best agenda to outline the most important legislation we can pass to finally bring Black women to the forefront of our economy,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02). “The power of the Black Women Best agenda is that in prioritizing the economic success of Black women, we improve the economy for everyone. Black Women Best challenges white supremacy, ableism, sexism, queerphobia and xenophobia to demand better for Black women and for everyone. Black women are historically the last to recover from economic downturn. For the past two years, Black women have served on the front lines as childcare workers, home health workers, transportation workers, nurses and teachers. Black women have also been forced to leave the workforce at historic levels. As we put our economy back on track after the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must center our focus on Black women. We must actively uplift Black women to support the recovery of our economy and protect against future economic crises. I am proud to join Congresswoman Watson Coleman and Clarke in releasing this agenda to empower Black women across the country with the tools to achieve economic success and prosperity.”

“It is time to reorient our thinking and deliberately bring Black women from the margins of our society to the center, and create policies to pull them out of poverty and economic precarity and into prosperity. And in doing so, everyone will benefit. That is the mission of The Black Women Best Legislative Agenda and I am tremendously proud and deeply honored to join Congresswoman Watson Coleman and Kelly in delivering this long overdue initiative. The Black Women Best Legislative Agenda provides a measured and meaningful pathway to equity Black women deserve," said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-09). “Our aspiration is to establish a clear policy agenda that will address the inequities that have historically and disproportionately burdened and oppressed Black women and girls. These policy solutions will focus on creating opportunities and investments to propel Black women toward economic progress, which will undoubtedly add to our nation’s economic potential. Black women have persevered through unimaginable oppression, historical mistreatment and shameful exclusion and this is our time to finally and fairly benefit from the fruits of our ancestors' forced labor. We are righting wrongs with The Black Women Best Legislative Agenda and I am deeply honored to be part of this noble work on behalf of America’s Black women and girls,” Congresswoman Clarke continued. 

"In this country, Black women have never been as considered, included, or rewarded as they should," said Janelle Jones, architect of the Black Women Best framework. "The way to economic growth that provides security and stability for all is possible. And the blueprint is here — in this BWB legislative agenda."

“There’s no denying the structural inequities built into US policy, systems and institutions that directly harm Black women — too often by design,” said Kendra Bozarth, co-chair of the Black Women Best Working Group and communications director at Liberation in a Generation. “Narrative change is a key part of uprooting this harm, and the BWB framework is our North Star for rewriting the stories that shape economic policy, politics, and ultimately our livelihoods and lives.” 

“Pursuing a Black Women Best legislative agenda is about pulling Black women out of economic precarity and into economic prosperity, which is only possible when all interlocking oppressive structures are dismantled,” said Azza Altiraifi, co-chair of the Black Women Best Working Group and senior policy manager at Liberation in a Generation. “Black women hold a multitude of marginalized identities and endure compounded oppression; using intersectional policy interventions to mitigate those burdens will propel us on the path toward building a liberation economy.”

“The bill is far past due for America to make good on the many promises it's made to create a society and economy that works for Black women. This paper offers Congress actionable steps to do just that," said Insight Center President Anne Price.

“Our economy could not function without Black women, and yet we are overlooked when economic policy is crafted to benefit others. With this paper, we are offering the recommendations ourselves. All Congress has to do is act,” said Springboard to Opportunities CEO Aisha Nyandoro.

“Black Women Best is an opportunity for all of us,” said Angela Peoples, co-founder of The South. “Time and time again, we see Black women experiencing the brunt of economic challenges. If we approach policy from a perspective of ‘How do we improve outcomes for Black women?’ we will inherently improve the lives of all communities struggling. This report is a tool for all policymakers who want to lift up working families and create an equitable economy.”

"For everyone to thrive in the economy, policymakers must dismantle the structural barriers that limit Black women’s economic freedom,” said Jessica Fulton, Vice President of Policy for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies “Making Black women’s economic health a centerpiece of federal policymaking will not only address generational harm but is also critical for the success of the overall economy. Now we have a scorecard to ensure policies deliver shared transformative change.”

Congresswoman Watson Coleman will be introducing a resolution later this week encouraging the use of this framework and those that complement it as a guideline to create and implement better public policies to benefit all people, specifically Black women.”

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