Support the Women of Color Opportunities Act

The challenges in today’s culture for women of color to compete for higher education and better-paying jobs include a cycle of underrepresentation and limited success.
 
 
When 64 percent of households headed by black women and 53 percent of those headed by Hispanic women find themselves below the poverty line, how can we not see that a solution needs to be found to address this staggering problem? 
 
 
Combating poverty and inequality in our educational and occupational systems is an arduous task that often sees slow progress — but thanks to State Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, we have the opportunity to address this issue with the Women of Color Opportunities Act, which was introduced on March 23. 
 
 
This bill focuses on the success of women of color from their earliest school years all the way to the time when they find prosperous careers. 
 
 
Women of color are significantly disadvantaged from the minute they step into school to when they begin applying for jobs. They make up only 23 percent of college students. Additionally, for every dollar a white man makes, a black woman on average will earn 62 cents, and a Hispanic woman will earn 57 cents. This in turn robs these women of more than $800,000 over the course of their careers. 
 
 
However, reciting statistics and numbers to our friends and neighbors isn’t enough to change this faulty system. That is why we all need to put our support behind this bill, which will truly improve the lives of not only women of color, but of all of us. 
 
 
This bill is crucial because it helps women of color progress through school at the rate of their peers. It also makes sure they have the financial literacy necessary to make important decisions once they become independent and enter the workforce. Finally, it will take a significant step toward closing the gender wage gap in Minnesota, which is set to reach an equal figure in 2054. With this bill, we have the chance to see it closed sooner. 
 
 
While Minnesota leads the way in many aspects of our society, we don’t do enough for the people who often need the most help. In our rapidly progressing state, it’s important for our girls to know they have a place and voice in our society and that they have the same opportunities as all their classmates and colleagues. 
 
 
Call Inman
DFL Communications 
and Research Intern 
University student