Campaign for Community Change


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Women of Color Finding Their Voice

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Alesia L

In 2012, women still find it hard to make their voices heard. Remember the all-white, all-male congressional panel debating women’s contraception earlier this year? For women of color, it is even more difficult to find a voice. I recently attended at the Center for American Progress called, “Women of Color Policy Series: Our Value, Our Voice”. The panel took a deeper look at how women of color can enact change in their communities and society as a whole.

Women of color make up 36.3 percent of America’s female population, and approximately 18 percent of the entire U.S. population, according to CAP. But women of color remain largely underrepresented on key issues. Of the 90 women serving in Congress, women of color make up only 27 percent. There are no minority female U.S. Senators, and only 24 in the House.

In spite of those odds, Tina Tchen, the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, said women need to be more confident in their voices and their point of view. Democratic strategist Maria Cardona focused on the need to have more women of color in politics. Angela Rye echoed this sentiment and added that the more women we have in the system the better it could work. Rye, executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, emphasized the importance of engaging women of all educational and socio-economic backgrounds in grassroots advocacy.

The event produced a few answers, but deep social change takes time and work.