By: Melanie Campbell
President and CEO
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of BWR
Audre Lorde once said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” These words resonate deeply within me and emphasize the urgent need to address the care crisis that disproportionately impacts black women and families
Black women. We are the backbone of our communities, fulfilling roles as caregivers, workers, teachers, advocates, civic leaders, entrepreneurs and more. However, we also face unique challenges, shouldering the burden of the care crisis. The data reveals the disparities: black women are more likely to be single mothers, work in low-wage jobs without paid leave, and struggle to access affordable childcare.
To create meaningful change, we must invest in a robust care infrastructure with accessible and affordable childcare and eldercare. Enacting a comprehensive paid family and medical leave policies is crucial, ensuring all workers can support their loved ones without risking job loss or financial instability.
Raising awareness about the challenges Black women face in the care economy is an imperative. We must amplify our voices, demanding change from elected officials who must be held accountable for enacting policies that uplift black women and their families, fostering equality and improving lives.
The undeniable contributions of black women as caregivers and civic participants cannot be overlooked. They represent 25% of all caregivers in the United States while comprising only 15% of the population. Black women play vital roles in caregiving occupations, and exhibit higher levels of civic engagement through voting and volunteering.
These statistics reveal the strength and resilience of Black women. We are not just victims but catalysts for change. Recognizing their contributions and advocating for their rights will dismantle barriers and create a society where all individuals thrive.
I urge you to join the fight for justice and equality. Let us invest in the care economy, empower Black women, and demand policies supporting their well-being. Together, we can break the shackles of inequality, forging a future where every woman is truly free.