Run Sista Run

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#BlackWomenLead Conversation on 2013 CBC on Building a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline

By Arielle Andrews

The hashtag, #BlackWomenLead, could not have rung truer this last week as the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, Sojourner Truth Legacy Project, Higher Heights for America, BET Network, and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University partnered to frame the conversation on Black women’s power, influence, and electoral leadership potential during the “#BlackWomenLead: Building a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline” event at the Congressional Black Caucus 2013 ALC on September 20, 2013 in Washington, DC

#BlackWomenLead Conversation on 2013 CBC on Building a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline

By Arielle Andrews

The hashtag, #BlackWomenLead, could not have rung truer this last week as the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, Sojourner Truth Legacy Project, Higher Heights for America, BET Network, and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University partnered to frame the conversation on Black women’s power, influence, and electoral leadership potential during the “#BlackWomenLead: Building a Sustainable Leadership Pipeline” event at the Congressional Black Caucus 2013 ALC on September 20, 2013 in Washington, DC

Political icon and revolutionary, Shirley Chisholm, once stated that “At present, our country needs women’s idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”

Although women have made remarkable strides in areas such as public policy and politics, Chisholm’s words remain relevant in the current context of the state of Black women in America.   Despite Black women’s record breaking numbers at the polls, they remain underrepresented in public office.

According to the Center for American Women in Politics of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate, none are Black women and of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 16 are Black women. Out of the, 1,788 women serving nationwide as state legislators, 242 are Black and of the 100 largest U.S. cities, only one has a Black woman Mayor.  This leadership gap exists because Black women are not running for elected office.

In an effort to develop a long-term strategy to expand and support Black women’s leadership pipeline, Higher Heights is currently conducting an online survey  to identify the barriers and opportunities that exist in Black women’s pathways to political leadership.

While addressing the standing room only crowd, Glynda C. Carr, Co-founder of Higher Heights for America stated that women must be asked multiple times to run for office before considering to take this groundbreaking step.  That said, Run Sista! Run! Run! Run!

 

Sista run because…..“African American women continue to be a formidable voting bloc.  Many elected officials owe their elections to our powerfully consistent appearance at the polls.  It’s high time that we translate our power at the ballot box into power at the tables of political campaigns and in the halls of legislatures across this country by running and winning campaigns that reflect the values and the issues that are at the heart of this country,” said moderator Rev. Leah Daughtry, President CEO of On These Thing, LLC

Sista run because…. According to panelist, Simone L. Ward, Director of Women’s Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, “Black women’s background as mothers, homemakers, social workers and community leaders gives us the skill set needed to not only run, but to govern effectively. Women from all walks of life are eager to serve, answering the call, taking the world by storm and bringing up the next generation of leaders with them.”

Sista run because.…“In 1972, during her campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm proudly displayed a button with her slogan for the race: “Ready or Not.” Her run for the highest public office in the land ignited an empowerment movement of women across the nation. Her tenacity and audacity would speak volumes for the causes of the disenfranchised and marginalized – if she had waited, it’s quite possible that we all might still be waiting,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9).

Sista run because… #BlackWomenLead.