PLBC to kick off Women and Girls of Color listening tour

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced that the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will kick off a five-part listening tour to better address the needs of women and girls of color across Pennsylvania. This listening tour will be spearheaded by the caucus’ Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color.

The listening tour will address such issues as criminal and juvenile justice, economic opportunity, health and wellness, education and workforce development, and overall empowerment.

Cephas, chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus’ Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color said, “Last March, I was appointed chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color. It is an honor to finally launch this initiative. This listening tour will allow us to hear directly from our most vulnerable constituency and find ways to tackle many of the issues women of color have been facing for generations.”

The PLBC’s Subcommittee on Women and Girls of Color was created in March with the goal of identifying key areas where black women and women of color face the largest disparities. The listening tour will last until the celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2018. In March 2018, the subcommittee will host a keynote event to announce a legislative and policy agenda that best reflects the needs of women of color in Pennsylvania.

The kickoff event is a policy committee meeting and tour set for Thursday, Nov. 16 at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy. The purpose of the tour and hearing is to address the issue of women and girls of color being overrepresented in the criminal justice system. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, African-American women represent 30 percent of incarcerated women in the United States, while they only represent 13 percent of the female population. In addition, Hispanic women represent 16 percent of incarcerated women and only 11 percent of all women in the U.S.