*History was made Tuesday with the launch of the first and only Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news in a press release issued by the U.S. House of Representatives, reports the Huffington Post. The release described the caucus as a group devoted to creating public policy that “eliminates significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.”
It’s the first of 430 registered congressional caucuses and member organizations specifically designed to make black women and girls a priority.
“Black women and girls are disproportionately affected by myriad [of] socioeconomic issues that diminish their quality of life and threaten the well-being of their families and communities,” Rep. Kelly said in a release obtained by The Huffington Post.
“The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls gives black women a seat at the table for the crucial discussion on the policies that impact them while also providing a framework for creating opportunities and eliminating barriers to success for black women,” she added.
The caucus was inspired by Ifeoma Ike, the co-founder of Black and Brown People Vote, and a collective of six other women involved in the #SheWoke committee which is comprised of leading black women activists who consistently advocate for black women’s rights, including Ike, Nakisha M. Lewis, Tiffany D. Hightower, Shambulia Gadsden Sams, Sharisse Stancil-Ashford, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever and Sharon Cooper.
Lewis shared the news on Twitter Tuesday:
— Nakisha M. Lewis (@NakLew) March 22, 2016
“Black women deserve a voice in a policy making process that frequently minimizes, or altogether ignores the systemic challenges they face,” Rep. Watson Coleman said in the release. “This caucus will speak up for them.”
The launch reception of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls will be held on April 28 in Washington, D.C.