An NCBW Manhattan Signature Event Press Release
NCBW has held a long-standing interest and role in elevating the conversation for global women's rights and combatting poverty in third world countries by empowering women and girls. Dr. Patricial Hill-Williams, a 25+ year member of NCBW Long Island chapter, has served as NCBW's representative to the United Nations, Division of Public Information on Non-governmental Organizations (DPI/NGO), for over 20 years. NXBW is a strong supporter of the Project 2015 Millenium Development goals.
Please read more here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml. We equally support the U.N. agenda for gender equality and empowerment of women as described at http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml.
NCBW launched a new and exciting partnership with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregancies in 2011.
This new advocacy agenda was readily adopted when evaluating the nexus between our decade-long national agenda to join forces with others to eradicate HIV-AIDS, and the rising tide of teen pregnancies in the African American community. Both of these conditions contribute to long-lasting and devastating impacts on Black women and girls, and both are 100% preventable with education and life style changes.
The 2011 partnership goals included (i) increasing the awareness of the multiple ramifications too often associated with a teen pregnancies in the areas of health, education and personal economic empowerment; (ii) enlisting other national Black women's organizations to aid in defining a culturally sensitive and competent conversation about the reasons (and range of solutions, thereto) that teen pregnancy prevention is not a high priority for action in our community; and (iii) develop a white paper that captures the data, the conversation and planned actions to promote an integrated and national strategy to amplify the messaging around teen pregnancy prevention.
NCBW released its White Paper on October 5, 2011 at the opening session of its 15th national biennial conference in Indianapolis, Indiana at the historic Madame Walker Theatre. Follow this link to view NCBW White Paper
Paula Parker-Sawyers, Sr. Director for Partnerships at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy addressed the conference participants on the results of the recent ESSENCE magazine survey of African-American youth to better understand their ideas about sex, love, and relationships. Read more about the survery results here http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/underpressure/
We recognize that far too many women have not had an opportunity to be heard at a Town Hall meeting or by their federal, state or local elected officials about living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. To ensure that the Obama Administration prioritizes African American women, who are living with HIV/AIDS and disproportionately represented in this domestic epidemic, we take this opportunity to add our voices by submitting several key policy recommendations.
A national group of the most respected African American women leaders has been actively engaged in finding solutions to increase HIV/AIDS education and awareness and building a stronger voice in determining public policy. The individuals and organizations listed are inclusive of Black women who are living with the disease, providers of critical HIV/AIDS services, advocates, and leaders from a broad spectrum of professional, government, civic and community organizations.
We strongly recommend that the following issues be addressed in relation to African American women and HIV/AIDS.
REDUCE HIV INCIDENCE.
Create a surveillance system that truly captures and reflects the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African American women so the information becomes documentation for the comprehensive services that are needed. The information should go beyond disease identity and combine other social determinants as factors to be considered to reduce HIV incidence among African American women.
Include sexual and reproductive rights as a part of the strategy, which should pay special attention to poor African American women across the country especially in the south.
The strategy should combine efforts in addressing domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health for African American women who don’t generally report or seek counseling for these issues.
The strategy should include a clear marketing plan that is aimed solely at African American women who must see themselves in this epidemic -- geographically, age appropriately, and economically. The strategy should cover several years for long term impact.
The strategy must address social determinants such as – poverty, lack of quality education, and the failure of welfare to work programs that put so many African American women in compromising positions in relationships in the absence of training and jobs which never came to fruition.
Addiction services that reflect the true needs of African American women with or without children should be a part of any comprehensive strategy and must be developed for women recognizing that existing treatment modalities intended for men are not sufficient in meeting their unique needs. Residential programs must be expanded in both urban and rural settings. The numbers of incarcerated African American women are beginning to reach levels close to their male counterparts in the criminal justice system. Programs for women while incarcerated must be developed to both inform and educate African American women about HIV and other reproductive health issues. Re-entry programs must be women centered to take into account the complexity of returning to her family, community, home, and relationships.
HIV/AIDS education should be made available to African American women through all networks, schools, jobs, sororities, street environments, clubs, beauty shops, African American women organizations, and national African American organizations. Resources must follow the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The resources must reach African American women infected and affected. Testing must be provided in a variety of places where women are gathered, not just in medical settings.
A greater number of African American women must be employed in decision making positions in federal agencies, community organizations, and national leadership; especially as it impacts HIV/AIDS.
Special attention must be given to the development of age appropriate, peer-led interventions for young girls, addressing the escalating rates of infections among Black youth who now account for 60 percent of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 13-24 year olds. The new office within the Administration on Women and Girls must specifically address African American women’s economic, health, education, poverty and family dynamics.
NCBW became a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls under the leadership of immediate past president, Marva Smith Battle-Bey, in 2009, with active participation since its inception. In 2010, over 100 NCBW members attended a White Housing briefing on domestic policy initiatives and the impact of the recession on women and girls as part of our 2010 Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. This briefing was coordinated by the White House Council on Women and Girls with multiple speakers from various departments of government.
The White House Council on Women and Girls was created by President Obama in early 2009 to enhance, support and coordinate the efforts of existing programs for women and girls. The Council’s mission is to provide a coordinated Federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. The Council also serves as a resource for each agency and the White House so that there is a comprehensive approach to the Federal government’s policy on women and girls.
In support of the Council on Women and Girls, the Office of Management and Budget and the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce worked together to create a ground breaking report titled, WOMEN IN AMERICA: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being and issued in March 2011. This is the first ever report that pulls together information from across the Federal statistical agencies to compile baseline information on how women are faring in the United States today and how these trends have changed over time. Please view the report in its entirety here... http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg/data-on-women
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT FOR BLACK WOMEN: Bridging the Generations
The “Bridging the Generations" Job and Employment Training Program was conceived by the NCBW San Francisco Chapter, Inc., in early 2011 to combat the growing rate of unemployed Black women in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The program design is "fast-paced" and established as a three-month peer counseling, classroom and on the job training program to assist African American women with short-term intensive skills-based training. In alignment with the theme “Bridging the Generations,” the program pool will consist of two women over age 55, three high school to post graduate students and two long-term unemployed adults under 55 (7 women total for each 90-day training cycle). Counselors and instructors will assess the jobs readiness of each participant for their preferred vocations. This will allow them to develop the basis for identifying the most relevant skills-based or academic learning opportunities and the entities (i.e., NCBW partners) most qualified to develop lesson plans, provide and/or facilitate classroom or on-the-job training opportunities and create the most relevant job assignments to be subsidized by the NCBW chapters as training stipends to offset the cost of participation and provide for some level of "learning wages".
It is expected that the counselors/instructors will include NCWB members along with other local industry leaders in each area of training concentration. The visiting instructors will be pulled from local colleges, trade schools, public relations and marketing firms, and similar. NCBW members will use their personal and professional connections and leverage to assist in the identification of on-the-job learning opportunities, and potential post-training jobs placement.
This chapter initiative has caught the attention and imagination of the NCBW national leadership, and with our continuing commitment to “export best practices” across our national network, NCBW has requested funding of $300,000+ to expand the NCBW San Francisco initiative, and to replicate the model in other chapters. With sufficient funding, initially this program will be implemented by six or more NCBW chapters in the "hardest hit" areas (i.e., locales with double-digit unemployment rates for African Americans) and will be extended or expanded depending funds availability. Local outreach for partner organizations, financial support and training participants is part of the program design.
A November fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center states that “the recovery has been tougher on women -- between June 2009 and October 2011, women lost 117,000 jobs while men gained 1,140,000.” It further states that “…unemployment rates increased for black women (11.7 percent to 12.6 percent) and single mothers (11.7 percent to 12.3 percent). (To read the entire NWLC fact sheet, follow the link below.)
Building upon a decades-old model for raising the literacy and graduation rates of Black youth and titled, "Each One Teach One", the NCBW jobs training and placement program is predicated on our belief that "we are our sister's keeper," and while we cannot single-handedly turn back the tidal wave of unemployment and its devastating impacts on the woman, her family and her community, we can do our own small part.
If six chapters sponsor and support seven women each quarter for a total of 28 women per year per chapter, the impact is 168 women who are moved from unemployment to wage earners and tax payers. As our financial support grows, both the number of chapters who can participate and the number of women they take on each quarter can grow, and the outcomes grow exponentially.
Our work experiences are both numerous and varied, and it is this range of experiences, academic training, professional certifications and vocations that can benefit the training participants regardless of their age.
"Bridging the Generations" will address life-skills training along with skills-based training. Program participants will receive a stipend of $25 each for 20 hours a month, or $500 a month for each participant ($3,500 for seven participants or a total of $10,500 per program period). Visiting Instructors will receive a stipend of $250 with a budget of $3,000 for the program period.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2013
For further information contact:
National Coalition of 100 Black Women
Shirley Poole at 212.222.5660 or
Email Dee Strum: [email protected]
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) is concerned about this national “sequester” that went into effect on March 1, 2013. “Sequestration is not the solution,” said NCBW national president M. Delois Strum.
Sequestration is a set of automatic across the board spending cuts put into law by the Budget Control Act to apply pressure on Congress to come up with a longer term plan for deficit reduction. However, “sequestration as a strategy will not effectively reduce the national deficit or effectively address our country's financial issues,” said Sherese Brewington-Carr, NCBW public policy liaison. “Regrettably it will reduce human potential and adversely impact all communities, particularly African American and other communities of color. These communities already continue to struggle during this country's economic recovery,” she said.
According to Strum, “our constituency, who currently has one of the highest unemployment rates, will be subjected to additional job loss, loss of revenue and salary earnings due to furloughs and layoffs and, in the case of unemployment insurance, will face reductions at approximately $400.00 per person.”
“We are aware of expected cuts to Title I that will reduce early education opportunities for our most vulnerable citizens and our country's greatest hope for the future -- our children. We regard education as a basic civil right and foundation for early childhood development,” said Strum.
According to official testimony and letters from all impacted government agency cabinet heads and secretaries to the U. S. Committee on Appropriations, cuts will apply to the Employment and Training budgets, Workforce Investment Acts, Wagner- Peyser funds and the Office of Job Corps that provide much needed job training to develop America's workforce. The Department of Justice will experience personnel cuts that could impact safety, as well as cuts to Violence Prevention and Protection programs for women and to Public Health Centers that provide much needed community based healthcare, resulting in less services for the sick.
“Our leaders failed to avert this sequestration catastrophe, but they can still reach a compromise going forward,” said Strum. “There must be other solutions and we must individually and collectively insist that our national leaders work together to find those alternative solutions that do not punish our most vulnerable citizens,” she said.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women is an advocacy group for African American women. With sixty-three chartered chapters across the country and a core mission
focus in the areas of Health, Education, and Economic Empowerment through our strategic alliances and partnerships, we are intentional about positively impacting the lives of our constituents: African American women and girls.
In the winter of 1970 in New York City, a handful of Black women, led by visionary Edna Beach, began meeting in their homes to assess the problems and opportunities left behind in the wake of the turbulent 1960s. For the rest of the 1970s, they slowly but persistently worked to master root causes of issues that affected their families, their communities and themselves. Naming themselves the Coalition of 100 Black Women, they boldly began to reach out to other Black women in common cause and, eventually, mobilized their emerging stature as a visible force of influence. By the beginning of the next decade, that influence had become a national movement.
On October 24, 1981, representatives from 14 states and the District of Columbia founded the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW). They responded to the New York Coalition’s nationwide call to develop a leadership forum for professional Black women from the public and private sectors. That call resulted in a network of Black women who joined together to meet the personal and professional needs of the contemporary Black woman, the needs of her community and her access to mainstream America.
Today, the national movement has garnered more than 6,000 members over the years throughout 60 chapters representing 25 states and the District of Columbia. In profile, the typical Coalition woman has completed college, holds a professional position, earns a median income of $40,000, is age 40 to 50, and is integrally involved in the socioeconomic and political matrix of her respective community.
The stated purposes of the Coalition are:
To foster principles of equal rights and opportunities;
To promote the awareness of Black culture;
To develop the potential of the membership for effective leadership and participation in civic affairs;
To take action on specific issues of national and international importance, and
Structured for Action
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women is committed to being a united voice for more than 14 million Black women in the United States.
As a leadership forum, it serves as a role model to help elevate the quality of life for young Black Women and other Black women in transition.
As an organization of career (professional and volunteer) women, it draws upon the strength of its membership to work toward solutions on issues of concern to the contemporary Black woman.
As a network, it serves as a vehicle of communication among Black women for their own personal and professional development.
And as an advocacy group, it collectively seeks the political and economic empowerment of Black women as a means of gaining access to mainstream America.
In line with those objectives, the Coalition has set the following as target areas for program development over the coming years:
Legislative Analysis and Voter Mobilization
Personal and Professional Development
Role Model/Mentor Projects
Influencing and Shaping Public and Private Policy
Local and national advocacy to eliminate HIV-AIDS and its ravaging impacts on girls, women and communities of color
Promoting Economic Empowerment of Black Women through wealth building strategies, retirement planning, advocacy for pay equity and related changes to social security
Facilitating Personal and Professional Development of NCBW Members and our constituents
Promoting Role Model/Mentor Projects for young women and other working women
Increasing Access to Higher Education for working moms and women of color
Participating in Research to Define Solutions to Teen and Unplanned Pregancies in communities of color
Increasing awareness of, and furthering actions to, close the gender gap in health, education and economic development
Supporting Worldwide Efforts for Elimination of Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination Against Women in All Forms
To achieve its targeted goals, the NCBW works to develop alliances with leadership from corporate, civic, political and government entities and to build a consensus among special interest groups. Moreover, the Coalition, created to serve as the eyes, ears and voice for all Black women, positions itself as a complement to the strong heritage of existing Black women’s organizations that share its goals.
We are an organization of progressive women of African descent whose voice and force for gender equity and sociopolitical advancement drive meaningful change to benefit women of color.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Manhattan Chapter advocates on behalf of women of color through national and local actions and strategic alliances that promote its national and international agendas on leadership development and gender equity in health, education and economic development.