The Fourth of July is when we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring our freedom from the Kingdom of Britain and celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States. The rights of individuals have evolved tremendously over the past two hundred and thirty eight years, but we still have a way to go.
Most of us are aware of President Obama’s initiative called, “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK), it aims to help young men of color by giving them a fighting chance for a better future. When visiting the home page of this initiative put out by the White House it states, “…My Brother’s Keeper is all about helping more of our young people stay on track. Providing support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works – when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.” President Barack Obama, February 27, 2014. My question is what about our girls?
In all fairness, in March 2009 the President signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, but as I read through their site it does not address the necessary components for our young girls in the same category as the young men being identified through MBK. Recently a “Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls in My Brother’s Keeper” was sent to the President for consideration.
A group of Women of Color are also urging the President to “Re-align” My Brother’s Keeper to include our girls. Prominent Women such as Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Anita Hill and Rosie Perez among others are leading the discussion (along with local and national organizations). Over and over statistics show that homicide among girls of color is at an astonishing rate and they are disproportionately at risk for violent crimes and being funneled through the juvenile justice system than many of their counterparts.
Those of us who are on the front lines with our girls must continue to let our voices be heard. We must unite in solidarity to work together with our boys and girls in order for the words of our Declaration of Independence to hold true for all, “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Forgiving For Living, Inc., stands with these men and women that want to urge the President to include our girls in those critical life-changing moments. Let freedom ring!
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