White House Hosts Summit to Uplift Women and Girls of Color

The summit highlighted the treatment of Black women in sectors like music, criminal justice and health care

The White House has launched a new program focusing on improving the lives of an oft-overlooked community: women and girls of color.

Teaming up with Wake Forest University and Melissa Harris-Perry, the White House hosted Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade, an all-day summit featuring panels and discussions aimed at tackling oppression against women of color in health care, music, criminal justice and economic development.

"From negative portrayals of women in hip-hop cultures to images of women of cool in leadership roles, our media and popular culture too often do not give girls of color a positive view of themselves [or give] everyone else a positive view of them and a vision for the future," said Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the President and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, on a press call yesterday. "And that needs to change."

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During today's summit, White House officials announced a $100 million grant over the next five years that will go toward providing funding and resources to low-income women. 

"As President Obama said when he spoke this year at the Congressional Black Caucus annual gala, 'When women of color aren't given the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential, we lose out on their talents,'" Jarrett said. "'We're not as good a country as we can be. We might miss out on the next May Jemison or Ursula Burns or Serena Williams or Michelle Obama. We want everyone to be on the field. We can't afford to leave some folks off the field.'"

Watch a stream of today's summit above. 

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