G4GC is encouraged by the progress the new White House Gender Policy Council promises. We embrace the opportunity to collaborate with the Council by uplifting the wisdom and vision of girls and gender-expansive youth of color. (Photo courtesy of: Rise Sister Rise, a G4GC Love is Healing COVID-19 Response Fund grantee).
Last month, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced the formation of the White House Gender Policy Council, a body aiming to guide and coordinate government policy to address the challenges that impact women and girls in the United States. I’m particularly thrilled to see this new government body become official, as it is a testament to the tireless efforts of so many advocates in our community.
The council, co-chaired by Jennifer Klein (Chief Strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP) and Julissa Reynoso (assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, and previously U.S. ambassador to Uruguay under former President Obama), is tasked with guiding and coordinating “government policy that impacts women and girls across a wide range of issues,” including racial justice, gender-based violence, and economic security. It comes at an essential time, as gender-based inequities are further exacerbated by the pandemic, racial unrest and other challenges of the day that have a direct impact on the young people in our communities, and their families.
“All Americans deserve a fair shot to get ahead, including women whose voices have not always been heard,” Vice President Harris stated in her support for this council. Girls and gender-expansive youth of color are among those who have been historically denied opportunities to be heard, so we are especially excited about the opportunity to support this work using a more rigorous intersectional analysis. As our colleagues at the Girls at the Margin National Alliance aptly state: young people of color face persistent challenges and adversity, are often denied safe and supportive services appropriate to their needs, and live at the intersection of programs, policies, and systems that seldom listen to their wisdom.
There is much work ahead to ensure that Vice President Harris’s call for us to collectively “build a nation that is more equal and just” becomes reality. We embrace the opportunity to be in community with the Gender Policy Council and to continue the work across a spectrum of issues impacting girls and gender-expansive youth of color.
As we step firmly into the year, strengthened by hope and strong partnerships, we are energized to continue to be a fierce advocate for stronger, more intersectional, and inclusive policy that is guided by the wisdom of Black, Indigenous, Latina, Asian, Arab, Pacific Islander, and other girls and gender-expansive youth of color.
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
Grantmakers for Girls of Color