The Obama Administration has forged a number of pathways toward equity for women and girls of color. However, girls of color and their peers are still uniquely challenged by persistent opportunity gaps, structural barriers, and implicit biases. Girls of color are suspended from school at disproportionate rates and become more susceptible to falling behind. They are overrepresented in the foster care, juvenile, and criminal justice systems, yet underrepresented in STEM fields. Black and Latina girls still remain twice as likely as white girls to become teenage parents.
The Council on Women and Girls is committed to ensuring that every agency, department, and office in the federal government takes into account the needs and aspirations of women and girls in their work. In 2015, the Council on Women and Girls convened a Working Group on Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls of Color, bringing together Administration officials to better understand the unique issues specifically faced by women and girls of color. This past June, the Council on Women and Girls hosted the United State of Women Summit to highlight key issues that impact women and girls both domestically and internationally, bringing together people from a wide range of backgrounds to learn from one another and set the stage for the work to come. Through a series of crosscutting seminars and speakers, the issues that marginalized girls and girls of color face, and solutions to those issues, were brought to the forefront.
One key issue that girls from marginalized communities face is access to afterschool programs, extracurricular programs, and summer enrichment activities that allow them to become stronger students, leaders, and citizens. For girls to reach their full potential, they need safe and nurturing community and school environments where they can learn, grow and thrive within the school day hours and beyond. They need access to afterschool and extracurricular programs and activities that enrich their understanding of the arts and the sciences; that reinforce the skills learned in school; that challenge them physically and promote health and wellness; and that foster their development of confidence, perseverance, leadership and grit. Too many families, including those with lower incomes, still struggle to find high-quality and affordable enrichment programs in their communities. The options for afterschool and summer enrichment can be particularly limited for girls of color.
We know that across the country, there are leaders who have created, developed, and supported engaging, enriching, and high-quality afterschool and extracurricular programs that create opportunities for girls from marginalized communities – and play an important part in ensuring that all young people can reach their full potential. Click here to nominate them as a White House Champion of Change!
We are seeking nominations to honor:
Please click here to submit your nomination by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, August 24th.