Bipartisan House Coalition Introduces Legislation to Create Task Force on the Experiences of Black Women and Girls in America
On Friday, a bipartisan coalition, led by the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, introduced the Protect Black Women and Girls Act of 2020 (H.R. 8196).
The Protecting Black Women and Girls Act of 2020 would establish an Interagency Task Force to examine the conditions and experiences of Black women and girls in education, economic development, healthcare, labor and employment, housing, justice and civil rights, to promote community-based methods for mitigating and addressing harm and ensuring accountability, and to study societal impacts of these conditions and experiences.
"Since founding the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, the co-chairs and I have worked to create a venue to highlight and share the experiences of Black women and girls in America, both positive and negative. The Protecting Black Women and Girls Act of 2020 is the next evolution of our work," said sponsor Congresswoman Robin Kelly. "Through this Interagency Task Force, we will gain greater insights into these experiences while developing strategies, initiatives and legislation to ensure that the doors of opportunity are open to all Americans."
The original co-sponsors are Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX), Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls co-chairs: Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) is also a co-sponsor.
"We must ensure black women and girls growing up in America today are treated equally and have the same opportunities as all Americans. Ensuring equal treatment across education, health care, economic development and more is something that should already happen, but, because it does not, Rep. Robin Kelly and I are calling for a task force to study the treatment and experiences of black women and girls across all sectors of our daily lives. I hope this brings needed accountability and positive change," said Congressman Hurd. "I am the proud brother of a strong successful sister and the uncle of vibrant, intelligent nieces. They matter."
"I wanted to found a Caucus devoted to Black women to lift our concerns, our voices, and ensure that we were included. This bill is the fulfillment of our Caucus's work: a pledge to ensure that when we make federal policies, when we decide on resource allocations, when we consider how we want to move this country forward, we will remember Black women and include them," said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. "I'm so proud join my co-chairs and Reps. Hurd and Lawrence in the introduction of the Protecting Black Women and Girls Act and look forward to seeing it considered on the House floor. Black women are too often left off the marquees, forgotten about in news media, a second or third thought in policy making. This is going to help us change that."
"Black women and girls have been at the forefront of every liberation movement in our nation's history and at the core of so many critical turning points in our culture. Despite shouldering such a heavy burden for so long, our narratives and personal struggles have regularly been minimized and disregarded in every arena from the boardroom to the doctor's office. This task force will seek to do the hard work of analyzing the state of Black women in America and finding ways to protect future generations of Black women from the trials and tribulations of their mothers," said Rep. Yvette Clarke.
"As Members of Congress, we must work towards making the American Dream more attainable for every American. For far too long, Black women and girls have experienced disproportionate inequities in housing, financial stability, education, and healthcare," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation that establishes an interagency task force to improve policy outcomes and will require the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to study the experience of Black women and girls in our country. I look forward to continuing to work on bipartisan solutions to create more access to economic and educational opportunities and improve the livelihoods of Black women and girls."
As the Co-Chair of the Democratic Women's Caucus and the Bipartisan Women's Caucus, I have worked to prioritize the voices and concerns of Black women and girls. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Protecting Black Women and Girls Act of 2020, a taskforce to study the experiences of Black women and girls across all sectors our daily lives," said Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence. The Interagency Taskforce will not only highlight the most pressing challenges for Black women, our families, and our communities, but also provide meaningful solutions to address those challenges. The experiences of Black women and girls matter, and must be centered.