Today, December 16, 2016, the White House Council on Women and Girlshosted its final forum under the Obama Administration on continuing progress and building toward change for women and girls of color. The Council additionally released a report today highlighting the innovative solutions, opportunities, and progress made in breaking down barriers to success this community faces.
The forum hosted discussions with key stakeholders in education, technology, business, government, entrepreneurship, and beyond. LGBTQ advocate and activist Grace Dolan-Sandrino started the event by setting the stage with her moving story of personal discovery and the importance of inclusivity on a multitude of fronts. The form featured a keynote address by Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice and discussions on data-driven interventions for opportunity and access; building an inclusive movement to strengthen the voice of women and girls; and an armchair discussion with ELLE Magazine on her stories of lessons, leadership, and legacy.
Featured speakers included Marley Dias, 11-year-old entrepreneur and editor of Marley Mag at ELLE Magazine; Melissa Harris-Perry, Editor-at-Large at ELLE Magazine; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Latifa Lyles, Director of the Women’s Bureau at the US Department of Labor; and Luvvie Ajayi, social author and activist.
As the story of the Obama Administration’s Council on Women and Girls comes to an end, we remain inspired, optimistic, and ready to continue this progress. Our work is far from done, but we have shown that together, we can bend that arc of the moral universe toward justice. Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls
Policy advisor, Kalisha Dessources, and Deputy Executive Director, Jordan Brooks, of the White House Council on Women and Girls, provided remarks on the influence and power that existed in the women who both participated in and attended the forum. With a touching close to the work the Council has done in support of this community, the forum was an energy-filled event that charged all who were present to continue the work and protect the advances made during the Council’s inception.
Furthermore, the Council of Women and Girls has newly released its report as a culmination of the Advancing Equity work sector of this Administration. The Obama Administration has taken steps toward understanding, elevating, and addressing key issues that cause disparities for marginalized and underserved communities, including women and girls of color. This nation-wide challenge has inspired educators, organizations, professionals, and philanthropic leaders to build and sustain efforts focused on the success of women and girls of color.