The White House Council on Women and Girls in conjunction with other organizations held a day-long conference to tackle the problem of equity for girls of color in America.
The White House Council on Women and Girls on September 19, 2015, teamed-up with the department of education, The National Crittenton Foundation and the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty to address the disproportionate rate of suspension for Black girls in American schools.
The “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline,” conference was streamed live through the White House’s official YouTube account. Among the dignitaries that graced the event were the Secretary of education, John B. King Jr. and Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.
The conference aimed at dissolving the belief that girls of color are problematic and difficult to handle.
The Sept.19 conference focused on the institutional barriers and structural violence young women of color are subjected to in schools. Further, it considered the fact sheets on trauma-based approaches. These were based on both documents and center on some people’s specific traumas.
Moreover, the conference introduced a “Safe Place to Learn” program which will serve as an interactive toolkit for administrators and staff of school to help them accurately handle sexual harassment cases among students.
Valerie Jarrett, Senior White House advisor touched on the criminalization of young women of color in the toolkit, “Part of our work is to realize that, when faced with student behavior that stems from traumatic experiences—and sometimes, even the experiences themselves, such as sex trafficking—society’s response has too often been the criminalization of students. This is particularly true for girls of color. But we also know that with appropriate support and intervention, all students—including young women of color—can overcome childhood trauma and succeed. “
We are glad that the government has been proactive in addressing the problem of equity for girls of color in America. The rate at which they were being discriminated against was a cause to worry. It is high time some people stop seeing girls of color as problematic and hence difficult to handle. All they need to do is to appreciate their differences and accept them.