melanie campbell

Melanie Campbell

*Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network (BWR) has released a dynamic report on Black women in the United States – 50 years after the war on poverty and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Dr. Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, President, Incite Unlimited,was the lead researcher of the report–releasedduring the BWR National Summit that took place Thursday through Saturday, March 27-29, in Arlington, Virginia.

The report is massive recognizing triumphs and tragedies involving the condition of women in a number of areas including health and finances. Here are just some of findings contained in the report:

  • Often thought of as a disease primarily impacting men, Black women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other demographic group in the nation.
  • As they have from the beginning of their experience in America, Black women lead all women in labor force participation rates. Even as mothers of small children, Black women are overwhelmingly likely to work. Black women are more likely than any group in America to work for poverty-level wages, thereby making them the most likely of all Americans to be among the working poor.
  • Black women are especially likely to be a victim of violence in America. In fact, no woman is more likely to be murdered in America today than a Black woman. No woman is more likely to be raped than a Black woman. And no woman is more likely to be beaten, either by a stranger or by someone she loves and trusts than a Black woman.
  • Though it is true that Black women remain more likely than any other group of women in America today to go to prison, the incarceration rates of Black women have declined tremendously in recent years. In fact, Black women’s incarceration rate has fallen from six times that of white women, to now, three times that of white women.

Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, is the spokesperson for the summit. She says what the “Roundtable tries to address is really the intergenerational challenges that Black women face – from girls to women in their working years to retirement.”

It is extremelyimportant, Campbell said,for women to vote in the mid-term elections on November 4 stressing what she called the power of the sister vote. She pointed to critical issues that are at stake saying, “We know in the Black community things are really bad economically andso what happens in Washington affects us. We know that when it comes to our voting rights last year the Supreme Court made it nearly impossible to enforce the Voting Rights Act to protect our vote for Black and minority communities.”

She says everyone must remember that whoever is elected to Congress will be making important decisions on issues affecting people of color, the poor and other disenfranchised citizens.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested.

For more information about the report and the summit visit

Listen to Tené’s exclusive interview with Melanie Campbell:

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