In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. According to the National Women’s History Alliance, In the same year, Representative Barbara Mikulski, from the House of Representatives, and Senator Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History Week 1981. This co-sponsorship demonstrated the wide-ranging political support for recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women.
Every year, the dates of National Women’s History The Week of March 8th changes and every year a new lobbying effort was needed. Yearly, a national effort that included thousands of individuals and hundreds of educational and women’s organizations was spearheaded by the National Women’s History Alliance.
In 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rational to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.
The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. celebrates Women’s History Month. Congress first declared March as Women’s History month in 1987. Since then, every year there’s a Presidential Proclamation to announce the month and to honor women who have made a notable impact in history.
The Black Women’s Agenda was founded in 1977 in Washington, DC. It evolved from the work of ten courageous women who responded to an urgent call to recognize and articulate the needs of Black women within the then emerging women’s movement, by developing a Black Women’s Action Plan for the International Women’s Year (IWY) Conference held in Houston, Texas in November, 1977.
The Action Plan, enthusiastically embraced by the Black delegates to the Conference, subsequently became the basis for the resolution on the rights of minority women, which was adopted overwhelmingly by the 2,000 conference delegates. The ten women formed BWA as an active organization in the Nation’s capital to implement the recommendations in the Black Women’s Action Plan.
In September, 1979, the leaders of forty-three Black women’s organizations met with the ten founders and pledged their support for the mission and program of the Black Women’s Action Plan, dedication to education, advancing, and supporting progressive measures for Black women. In June 1979, BWA conducted its first issues workshop on Capitol Hill.
Since then it has conducted an array of activities, including town meetings for citizen dialogue with U.S. Presidential candidates, and a popular issues workshop and luncheon held annually in Washington, DC in conjunction with the Congress.
A disproportionate number of black women are represented within statistics related to poverty, and lack access to economic and educational opportunity. Through the establishment of social priorities (an agenda), BWA facilitates discussions that lead to effective policies and meaningful change. Their continuous vigilance on issues affecting Black women worldwide empower women to step up and mitigate the gender gaps that affect women in our society.
THE SPIRIT OF CHANGE CONVERSATION SERIES
The Black Women’s Agenda has partner with Living Room Conversations to offer free training and support to all hosts who sign up for the Spirit of Change program. Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us.
Their goal is to reduce polarization and social bias, to increase the willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue, and create an increased understanding and appreciation for our differences and similarities. By using them, we are creating a world in which people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds learn to work together with respect to realize the vibrant future we all desire for ourselves and our families.
The Black Women’s Agenda is stepping out to bring together communities to collectively find common ground and inspire change. They invite you to join or even host! a casual conversation in your community and be the change.
They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation with those with whom we may not agree. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground, and sometimes even allow us to discuss possible solutions.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Founded in 1977, The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. is a national organization with a mission of educating and protecting the rights of African American women and their families, and represents more than 3 million women.
This Open Letter is being sent in support of women throughout the United States and the World. We understand the importance of recognizing the “person-hood” of women and their complete dominion over their bodies, including matters of pregnancy and reproductive health.
The statement from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg expresses our feelings about the recent direction taken by states that could lead to revisiting the longstanding Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision regarding women and their reproductive rights. She stated: “The decision of whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, well-being, and dignity. When the government makes that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2019.
The recent decision by Alabama lawmakers to make those who participate in performing an abortion guilty of a felony punishable with up to 99 years in prison portends a violation of civil and human rights.
This has been a Celebration of The Women of History and The Goals of The BWA, The Black Women’s Agenda.