Recently, I had the awesome opportunity to join in on a zoom One MillIon Black Women listening session. “Launched in partnership with black women-led organizations, this new initiative from Goldman Sachs is the largest announcement of it’s size and scope. One Million Black Women will commit $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic support to address the dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that black women have faced for generations, which have been only exacerbated by the pandemic.”
These investments are set to be focused on key moments in black womens’ lives from early childhood to early retirement. These areas include healthcare, education, housing, and small business. During the listening session, which is the first of many, Jotaka Eaddy introduced several women that are behind the scenes. Margaret Anadu, who works with Goldman Sachs, talked about the mission statement along with Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, whose the President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. The discussion centered on various ideas in improving and transforming communities like elimination of student loan debt, access to better healthcare, programs that offer loans for vehicle ownership, mental healthcare, and home ownership to name a few.
For so long, black women have faced immense challenges such as being under-resourced and being underpaid. Along with discrimination and bias, combined with being over-worked and often the sole caregiver, it can be overwhelming. With this historic investment, it will be led by black women, partnered with black women and centered around black women and their communities. Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole described this initiative as a “movement’ and how it breaks down many stereotypes across the board. Towards the end, there was a question and answer session where a few attendees were asked to present their comments and questions. It was refreshing to see so many of us come together to brainstorm and discuss future ideas/projects. From a financial consultant asking how she can get involved to an OB-GYN spreading awareness on the need for women to have access to sitters and transportation to make appointments, you could feel the compassion and urgency. The chat room was active and attendees introduced themselves and their hometown, also sharing contact info so that the conversation can continue beyond this session.
You will be able to read the description of the initiative along with sharing feedback and thoughts about which programs and projects you may feel will benefit from this investment. Once you share your info, you will be invited to the next listening session. I would also invite you to take a look and see how you can participate in this epic movement. It brings to mind a famous quote “Be the change you want to see”. I also want to add that although this initiative is centered on diversity and inclusion , it is not one of exclusion, so anyone, of any ethnicity, can feel free to read up about this project and take part in asking questions and/or comments as well as sign up for future updates.
As a young, single black mother, from The Bronx, NY, it is inspiring to see that we have a platform and a team of individuals that are determined to bring various dreams/goals to fruition. To have our voices being heard and our struggles recognized in a way that will have a lasting impact on ourselves and our communities is amazing! I am looking forward to all this initiative has to offer and am grateful for the learning experience as well.