President Obama Pledges $118 Million to Help Girls and Women of Color

Research institutions partnering with White House to address education and career development issues

(Image: Thinkstock)
(Image: Thinkstock)

The White House recently announced its pledge of $118 million toward the economic prosperity of girls and women of color. The five-year funding initiative is called Prosperity Together, and devotes $100 million to low-income women, and an additional $18 million from a group of research institutions, called the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research, to continue studying the living conditions of women and girls of color.

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The efforts were announced during a summit Friday that featured an all-day panel forum with 30 speakers, from a variety of organizations, to talk about the main topic: advancing equity for women and girls of color, at Wake Forest University; in conjunction with the release of a report with the same name by the Council on Women and Girls.

In the report, advocates cite opportunity gaps that girls and women face in the United States, including low participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

Statistics have shown how young black men are at a higher risk for incarceration, death by homicide, lower rates of college completion, and higher drop-out rates of high schoolers; however, their female peers face similar risks and discrepancies.

“The growth in the number of businesses owned by black women outpaces that of all women-owned firms. Teen births are down, and high school graduation and college enrollment rates are up. However, opportunity gaps and structural barriers still remain,” the White House wrote in a statement.

Based on data, the Council on Women and Girls’ report has identified five areas where interventions can promote opportunities for success at school, work, and in the community. Continuing research in these areas and exploration of new efforts can help advance equality for women and girls of color.

The report also outlines five main goals, including reducing exclusionary school discipline practices such as suspension, offering emotional support to victims of abuse and trauma, incentivizing STEM education, sustaining reduced rates of teen pregnancy, and tackling economic obstacles.

For more information on this initiative, visit WhiteHouse.gov.