March 15, 2023
PRESIDENT & CEO’S LETTER
The past year has been marked by challenges and resilience for Black women as we faced unprecedented attacks on our rights and freedoms. However, our rich history of organizing and solidarity has shown the enormous strength of our communities. Black women have been a driving force in shifting political power, steering the nation towards achievements and unprecedented progress. We have broken a number of glass ceilings and become the firsts in a number of influential policy positions.
This year will be just as significant for our communities as we see Black women on the front lines of many movements and giving voice to critical issues. We are not only at the table, setting the agenda, and building power—we are leading and spreading awareness, and centering our lived experiences in the popular consciousness and in our political demands. When we show up, Black women make all the difference in building a world that is more just, equal, equitable, and representative.
Today we celebrate Women’s History Month by releasing our 10th Annual Black Women’s Roundtable Report, “Black Women in the United States & Key States, 2023” that focuses on the work required to Reset, Rejuvenate, and Reimagine Our Power to Resist, Act & Win! This report is focused on lifting up the issues and policy priorities impacting Black women, our families and communities. The report’s contributors represent an intergenerational group of some of our nation’s most powerful Black women leaders and experts in their fields—who not only share the problems Black women face, but also share solutions to those challenges. The sections of this report highlight the power in Black women’s leadership and political influence, providing insight into how Black women are the key to victory for any candidate in search of the Black vote at the national, state or local level.
As Black women, we are expanding our power in politics, business, education, economics, labor, environmental justice, sports and more. We are changing the face of the federal judiciary and expanding our power as political candidates from city hall to the White House. We are leading in business from entrepreneurship to the C-suites and boardrooms. We are striving for quality education and standing on the front lines in the battle against those who seek to erase our history.
But as we advocate and work hard, we must also find time to rejuvenate and reimagine what is needed for our well-being. That calls on us to honor our bodies, minds, and spirits. In a time of so much economic, societal and cultural stress, it is critical for Black women to take care of our mental health and wellness. On average, we suffer higher rates of chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. In order to navigate systems that were not designed for us, our sisters must be armed with knowledge so that we can find the solutions to correct the inequities that are baked into our society. And as we lean on each other for community care and also look to a higher power for spiritual guidance, we must take action and prioritize our own wellness if we are to prepare for the long-term fight to deal with the stress in resisting racism, hate, and violence.
Black women have led and will continue leading the fight for voting rights and protecting democracy from peril. We are advocating for reproductive justice and reproductive rights, online privacy rights and their impact on civil rights and economic opportunity. We are leading the fight for police and criminal justice reform, economic justice and workers’ rights, environmental justice and climate change, retirement security and protecting the social safety net.
The 2022 midterms were significant, and Black voters were part of the firewall that helped preserve democracy in key battleground states. Building on our organizing, the issues critical to Black Women and our Allies will be front and center as we build the foundation for the 2024 Election.
This year’s report provides us with policy solutions, analysis, and calls to action required to address the core problems affecting our communities. Our report includes personal stories from Black women on the importance of representation and the historical significance of having a Black woman nominated to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
Black women are resilient, and we will continue to resist and lead the fight for racial justice and equity. We will take action to stop violence against Black women and girls and protect our rights and freedoms. We will fight for social justice, civil rights and elevate our fight to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We are unstoppable, and our power to resist, act, and win is unparalleled.
Melanie L. Campbell
President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable