The Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable will host several activities this week in honor of National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which is Thursday, Aug. 13. Along with an evening Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 12, MS-BWR also is hosting a virtual Coffee Con and midday Social Media storm on Thursday and an online documentary film screening on Friday. This week’s activities are being dedicated to Mississippi’s teachers.
MS-BWR’s efforts coincide with a national push to encourage conversations about key issues impacting Black women in the United States. Along with MS-BWR’s signature events in Mississippi, various organizations across the country are hosting their own unique events in their respective states to bring awareness to the cause. Mississippi is the only state in the U.S. without an Equal Pay Law.
“The pay gap for black women in Mississippi is extreme: 56 cents to the dollar. The typical Black woman must work until August 2020 to be paid what the typical White man was paid at the end of December 2018. Over a 40-year career, the average black woman in Mississippi will lose $849,480 to the wage gap. As a result, Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the country for women overall (20 percent, compared to 12.4 percent nationally).”
The overall goal of this week’s activities is to bring awareness of issues impacting black women like wage disparities. Far too many people aren’t aware of the dual and intersectional biases and inequalities black women face due to their gender and their race.
In Mississippi, Black women are the largest group of women working in low wage jobs and now, that also means being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Women are the frontline workers during this pandemic. It’s time Mississippi passed an Equal Pay Law.
Our goal with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is to educate the public and empower black women with additional information about these challenges and what they mean for our families. We also want to provide insight into some of the ways we can address them, including critical policy changes, more civic engagement, coordinating our efforts and holding our leaders more accountable for improving our state and nation for everyone.
MS-BWR address critical issues related to the pay gap in Mississippi and provided some possible solutions in a 2019 report Women Driving Change: A Pathway to a Better Mississippi that was co authored with the National Women’s Law Center. Other key statistics from the report include:
- For Black women who live at the intersection of race and sex biases, the poverty rate in Mississippi (36.2 percent) is nearly three times the rate for white women (13.3 percent).
- Mississippi families headed by single mothers face the worst poverty rate in the state and one of the highest poverty rates in the country (49.6 percent, compared to 34 percent nationally.)
These barriers are not only holding women back; they are holding back Mississippi families, businesses, and the entire state economy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For example, if women in Mississippi received equal pay with comparable men, the poverty for working women would be cut by more than half, the poverty rate among children with working mothers would be reduced by one-third, and the Mississippi economy would have added $4.15 billion in wage and salary income (equivalent to 3.9 percent of 2016 GDP) to its economy.
Please join us for our free scheduled events this week, including:
Wednesday, Aug. 12:
6:30 p.m. – Mississippi Black Women’s Equal Pay Virtual Town Hall featuring Mississippi activist Amanda Furdge, Robin Jackson, policy and systems coordinator for the MS Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a poetry slam, live DJ and more. This event will be streamed LIVE on our Facebook page.
Thursday, Aug. 13
(BLACK WOMEN’S EQUAL PAY DAY):
Noon – Virtual Coffee Con featuring guests Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton, filmmaker; Dr. Safiya Omari, City of Jackson, MS Chief of Staff; Mrs. Geraldine Bender, AFT-MS; Dr. Akemi Stout, president of the Jackson Federation of Teachers; Erica Jones, MS Association of Educators president. This event will be streamed LIVE on our Facebook page.
Noon – 2 p.m. – Social Media Storm featuring images and videos of women showing solidarity by wearing a MS-BWR Equal Pay t-shirt and promoting hashtag #EqualPayNowMS
Show your support by changing your Facebook profile to include one of our three Black Women’s Equal Pay Day frames. It’s simple, just:
- Go to your personal Facebook page and click on your profile image.
- At the bottom in the pop-up, click option “Add frame”
- Search for “MS-BWR” and select one of our three special frames
Friday, Aug. 14:
All Day – Free Online Screening via Facebook of a mini-documentary from Writer, Producer, Director and Filmmaker Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton.
The Impact of One is an introductory short documentary film designed to focus on the historical aspects of the life of Gladys Noel Bates, the teacher and civil pioneer who filed the first civil rights lawsuit in 1948 against unequal pay for black and white teachers in the state of Mississippi. Mrs. Bates’ actions led to the Equalization of Pay Act for all teachers.
The NMHS Unlimited Team has also created accompanying lesson plans and integrated resources, based on Common Core Standards, to explore the basic tenets of Civil Rights and civic engagement from 7th through 12th grade, GED and Adult Basic Education. Student workbooks are also available for K-2 and 3-5.
Along with supporting the MS-BWR activities, we’re asking supporter to share details about the planned activities and also use the hashtags #EqualPayNowMS
To view this special short documentary, visit our Facebook Page anytime on Friday, Aug. 14 to watch. https://www.facebook.com/msblackwomensroundtable/
For more information, visit us online at msblackwomensroundtable.org