A recent piece from the Chronicle of Philanthropy makes the point that considerable attention has been paid to the unprecedented violence in this country affecting minority men and boys, most notably with the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. This was a call to action for many in our country and has resulted in numerous investments including President Obama's very successful public-private partnership My Brother's Keeper. Pamela Shifman and Nakisha M. Lewis make the point that there is a parallel crisis impacting minority women and girls that is often lost in the media headlines. They make the point that girls of color experience high rates of sexual abuse, suspension/expulsion from school, and incarceration. This creates a very dark picture for their economic security. According to the article, "Single black women and Latinas have the lowest median net wealth of all racial and gender groups. Single black women hold just $100 in wealth, on average, and Latinas just $120. That’s compared to $7,900 for single black men, $9,730 for single Latino men, and $41,500 for single white women."
This is very concerning, particularly when you consider that the rates of teen pregnancy among girls of color has been higher than that of their white counterparts. When you take teen parenthood and couple that with their grim income prospects, it makes raising a child incredibly challenging. This perpetuates a cycle of poverty that must be put to an end. We know that all the young mothers we work with want the best for themselves and their child and they CAN make it happen. They just need support. It will take investments and advocacy to change the discourse. If we want an equitable and just society, we need to invest in women and girls.
See the full article at http://shar.es/LSYAn.
Empowering teen mothers, transforming lives