Happy New Year! Today’s Sunday Brunch with Higher Heights menu features our 2015 year in review. Just in case you missed any of our amazing profiles and interviews this year.
Join us next month as we kick off our 2016 Sunday Brunch series on Sunday, February 14, 2016 for a Brunch and Chat as #BlackWomenLead conversations about politics, policy and leadership.
2015 Sunday Brunch Menu Review
2015 Sistas to Watch Recap
The midterm elections provided a glimpse of Black women’s political imprint and their potential. Black women accounted for much of the increase in last year’s group of African-American political candidates. The road to 2016 provides a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive strategy to truly harness Black women’s power and leadership potential.
If we are serious about achieving effective and adequate political representation, we’re going to have to take a hard look at the double standards between how male public servants are judged and forgiven and how their Black female counterparts are judged and crushed as a result of the negative images that are put out about them. We also need to challenge the deeply seeded assumption by many that Black women aren’t as capable of leadership as men and white candidates.
During President Obama’s keynote speech at the Congressional Black Caucus' 2015 Phoenix Awards, he acknowledged the centrality of Black women in mobilizing and advancing change across America. He also identified the proverbial elephant in the room: Black women’s invisibility in movement building. President Obama declared, “Black women have been a part of every great movement in American history. Even if they weren’t always given a voice.”
Black women's leadership is necessary. Necessary for Black people, necessary for Black men, necessary for America. We are the least of these. According to the Center for American Progress, 46% of Black women over the age of 20 suffer from hypertension; Black single women have a median wealth of $100 while Black women with children have no median wealth; only 21.4% of Black women had a college degree or higher in 2010; only 2% of Black women are represented in STEM careers; and, Black women make only 64¢ on the dollar earned by white men. The list of disparities is extensive. Our leadership is a matter of survival. Our silence potentially deadly.
In a landscape where more racist and misogynist online abusers cloak themselves in masked IP addresses in lieu of white sheets, our vigilance remains important. In acknowledgement of this reality, it’s more important than ever for us to amplify and elevate black women’s voices and leadership as the election season heat’s up, and to support each other by reporting abuse and harassment when we see it.
Without President Obama at the top of the ticket, it is expected that Black women will stay home. Yes, the historic election of the first Black President created an enormous amount of excitement and enthusiasm among Black women across the country. His campaign invested resources into talking to and engaging Black women and they answered that call. They not only voted, but they activated their networks by hosting house parties, leading virtual phone banks, and raising money for his campaign.
The truth is that too often the ladder has a specific ceiling when it comes to Black advancement. Today, Black women are the behind-the-scenes leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement, fair minimum wage movement, and other social justice coalitions. They might not be writing the op-eds or getting the majority of the public attention, but they are doing the on-the-ground work around issues that more than often overwhelmingly affect Black men.