On Friday Teresa C. Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, introduced Prosperity Together at the White House’s Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color Summit. Prosperity Together is a five-year, $100 million “nonpartisan coalition of public women’s foundations dedicated to improving the economic security of low-income women and their families in America.”
The initiative will be aimed at creating opportunities for low-income women and girls of color by focusing on job training programs that will be targeted toward the needs of low-income women, affordable childcare programs and research that will better inform on the best policies for these women and their families. An additional $18 million, from various academic institutions like Wake Forest University’s Anna Julia Cooper Center, will focus on collecting data and research on women and girls of color.
This new initiative is especially timely. In a recent report, the Obama administration detailed many of the barriers faced by young women of color, including higher rates of incarceration, school suspension and teen pregnancies. Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner, President Barack Obama also spoke on the various obstacles faced by low-income women of color, specifically African-American women: “There’s no denying that black women and girls face real and persistent challenges. The unemployment rate is over 8 percent for black women. And they’re overrepresented in low-paying jobs; underrepresented in management.”
Mr. Obama reminded his audience that when inequality exists for these women, it’s “not just a woman’s issue, [it’s] everybody’s issue.”
Ms. Younger’s Foundation is one of the organizations involved in Prosperity Together. “If, as a country, we want strong families that are empowered, and communities thriving, then we have to make sure that women have a voice and are economically independent, healthy and secure,” Younger stated in her speech. Also involved in Prosperity Together is the New York Women’s Foundation. For over 25 years, the N.Y.W.F. has given millions of dollars to New York City programs supporting women and their families, like the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation and Literacy Partners, Inc.
Other organizations involved include the Chicago Foundation for Women, Women and Girls Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and The Fund for Women and Girls at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.