Special Profile: Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls

In June 2017, The CCBWG convened a forum to address missing black women and girls across the U.S. This video was posted by Crisis Magazine, one of the oldest black publications in the U.S.

Yvette D. ClarkeAs one of the three Co-founders of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls (CCBWG), Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke says she is guided by the “mantra of justice, fairness and equity.”
Pictured left: Representative Yvette D. Clarke

Clarke most consistently demonstrates her allegiance to these ideals through public service. Clarke is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Before her election to Congress in 2007, a Brooklyn native, Clarke served on the New York City Council, representing the Fortieth District of Brooklyn. Clarke succeeded her mother, former City Council Member Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, making them the first mother-daughter succession in the history of the City Council.

Robyn KellyCongresswoman Clarke serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Committee on Small Business, and the Ethics Committee. In 2016, Clarke, alongside U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly (D-IL.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ.), founded the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, the first House caucus to study policy issues related to the continued success and accomplishments of that population. The caucus addresses issues related to safety, the criminal justice system, health concerns, and the growing electorate.

In addition, Congresswoman Clarke serves as Co-Chair of the Caribbean Caucus, where she works to build the relationship between the United States and the Caribbean community (CARICOM) on matters of trade, immigration reform, and direct investment through development programs.

XXTRA Special & Free spoke with Clarke during the 2018 Power Rising Conference in Atlanta about her the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, her values and the proposed FY19 budget. Take a look!

Bonnie Watson Coleman is a trailblazer for diversity and equality.

Watson Coleman serves as Representative for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. Watson Coleman has served the district since 2015. Prior to her election, Watson Coleman served eight consecutive terms in the New Jersey General Assembly.

Pictured left: Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman

Watson Coleman crushed racial and gender barriers to become the first Black woman to serve as Majority Leader of the New Jersey General Assembly, as the Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, and the first Black woman to represent New Jersey in Congress.

In 2016, Watson Coleman, alongside Robin L. Kelly (D-IL.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY.), founded the     Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, the first House caucus to study policy issues related to the continued success and accomplishments of that population. The caucus addresses issues related to safety, the criminal justice system, health concerns, and the growing electorate.

“Black women deserve a voice in a policy making process that frequently minimizes, or altogether ignores the systemic challenges they face. This caucus will speak up for them,” said Watson Coleman, according to her website watsoncoleman.house.gov.

Watson Coleman’s passion for public policy comes from her political family. She is the daughter of state legislator John S. Watson. Watson Coleman has advocated for reforms to prisoner re-entry programs, prisoner rehabilitation and release, and has also championed legislation to protect vulnerable Americans and communities related to gun safety, environmental protection, and long-term unemployment.

During her tenure as a member of the 115th Congress, Watson Coleman was selected by her colleagues as the Vice Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, where she is also Ranking Member on both the Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security.  She also serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Watson Coleman is the author of the Healthy MOM Act, which would allow women to enroll in, or change their health coverage if they become pregnant, the End For-Profit Prisons Act, which would prohibit the federal government from contracting with for-profit prison corporations and, the SAFER Pipelines Act that would reform the gas pipeline approval process overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

XXTRA Special & Free spoke with Watson Coleman during the 2018 Power Rising Conference in Atlanta about her the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, voting and accountability, her favorite book and more. Take a look!