Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Funding Nation’s First Black Women’s Think Tank


Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a budget bill approving $5 million in funding to California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) to house the California Black Women’s Think Tank.

The California Black Women’s Collective (CBWC) Empowerment Institute will be a founding partner in the development of the policy research institution.

The legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 179, drafted by Assemblyman Phillip Ting (D-San Francisco), paves the way for the creation of a policy institute that will focus on improving structures and practices that impact the lives of black women and girls across the state. .

“The California Black Women’s Collective has worked hard over the past year to create the California Black Women’s Think Tank, the first of its kind in the nation.” Kellie Todd Griffin, speaking for CBWC, told California Black Media.

The CBWC, in partnership with Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), is a coalition of more than 1,500 black women leaders across California.

The coalition uses the expertise and collaborative skills of Black women in political, community and social justice activism to amplify their voices, knowledge and issues across the state.

On June 20, Newsom signed a $308 billion state budget that helps meet rising costs for Californians, meet the state’s most pressing needs, build reserves and invest. in the future of the state.

(AB) 179, the 2022 Budget Act, implements funding for key priorities established by the California Black Legislative Caucus (CLBC) for this legislative session, including the CBWC think tank.

“We are grateful to the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) for including this as a priority budget request and to the CSUDH for partnering with us on this,” Todd Griffin said.

CBWC’s goal for the Think Tank is for it to be “relevant and accessible” by providing an “independent academic research entity that provides a ‘rigorous policy analysis approach,'” CBWC explained in a written overview.

The state and the CLBC support the need to expand the work that drives systematic change, as put forward by the CBWC. The Think Tank is an effort to serve as a research institution and resource for legislators, elected officials, business leaders, and advocacy organizations seeking to impact lasting and scalable change.

“There are approximately 1.1 million black women in California. However, 75% of black households are headed by black single mothers and 80% of black households have black women as breadwinners. There are economic, educational, health and electoral barriers that black women face every day. In California, 23% of black women live in poverty, according to the California Budget and Policy Center’s Women’s Well-Being Index,” the CBWC said.

According to the Status of Black Women report by Women’s Policy Research (WPR) and information provided by CBWC, the median income for black women in California is $43,000 per year, compared to $52,000 for white women and $69,000 for white men. The WPR report also said the average cost of child care for a baby is 28% of the average income for a black woman in the state.

The CBWC Think Tank intends to approach its work in a data-driven, strategic and collaborative manner. Based on current information regarding Black women and girls in the state, the collective specifically aims to provide concrete policy solutions, remove the persistent barriers this group of women face on a daily basis, and achieve equity race and gender.

The CBWC Empowerment Institute is part of these initiatives to help black women, says Todd Griffin.

“The magnitude of this funding allocation will be transformative as we continue the work to improve the quality of life for Black women and girls across California,” Todd Griffin said.


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