Recent Black Girls Day At The Capitol Highlights Minorities, Economic Issues

Feb 22, 2018

The recent Black Girls Day at the Capitol highlights minority women’s economic issues in Florida. Several organizations want improvements on education and better access to health care.

Groups like Power U: Center For Social Change and S.O.U.L. Sisters make their mark at the Capitol.
Credit Davondra Alston

The Sisters Organizing for Understanding and Leadership Group and other minority groups want state representatives to focus on improvements in education. S.O.U.L. Sister member Tajarah Surin says public schools in southern Florida have a lack of resources.

"There are roughly 50 students per class and the way our desks are set up is there are roughly 30 desks." Surin says, "That means 20 students will be standing throughout the whole one hour and 30 minutes, just to get an education like everyone else."

The Class Size Amendment formally controls the number of students in each classroom for public schools. But in recent years, the state lawmakers have loosened the policy for certain courses. Meanwhile  Rep. Kamia Brown (D-Ocoee) believes more needs to be done to support minorities.

“We our disproportionally affected by some of America’s most systemic crisis" Brown says, "That includes police violence, equity and access to education, pay equity, excessive discipline among our schools and our young girls, sexual violence, as well as and most important poor access to health care.”

Brown is pushing what she calls the Closing Gap Grant program. The approved bill will help decrease racial and ethnic diseases like lupus, by steering more funding to research. And she believes if women of color continue to stay involved in the political process changes will occur for them.

“It’s one thing for them to acknowledge African American women as the wheels of our political movement, but it’s also another thing when we put each other in the driver’s seat. We are leaders across all sectors of this economy and so let us begin to have Florida reflect that.”