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Black Women Meet With Pres. Obama’s Sr. Adviser to Discuss Black America

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Reported by @WritingsbyMaria

Black women from Houston, TX traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with Pres. Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and other White House officials on Tuesday, September 16, to discuss how women can impact the lives of other women and young people.

The Houston delegation consisted of women who work for local media, local government, and local businesses. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee hosted the women, saying “It is vital to move the agenda of women forward.” She also complimented Jarrett, the keynote speaker for the meeting, saying that she is a champion of  issues facing women. “Valerie Jarrett has been a champion of women’s issues and a major Adviser to the President and her insight and expertise on national and international issues will make this a very important leadership opportunity for these women,” the Congresswoman said.

Specific topics covered during the conversation include domestic viοlence, human trafficking, and Pres. Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The meeting lasted for approximately 20 minutes. Valandia McCray, one of the delegates in attendance, was overwhelmed by the opportunity. “To just know that I was in the people’s house, being one of the people, just a common woman from Houston, Texas, in the president’s home. That was the greatest thing for me,” McCray told a local news station. Dr. Natalie Carroll, also one of the delegates in attendance, expressed her concerns with Black men and Black women. “I’m very concerned about our African-American young men, and I am concerned because African-American young men tend to be with African-American young women, who I take [care] of,” she said.

The last time the White House held a meeting to discuss Black America, nothing tangible seems to have resulted from it. The meeting’s agenda items included: reintroduction and passage of the Urban Jobs Act, reintroduce the American Jobs Act, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, call for a universal background check, call for citizens to mobilize around the constitutionality challenging of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and a reform of the nation’s dysfunctional and discriminatory criminal justice system. Those in attendance were Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous (then-president of the NAACP), and Marc Morial (president of the National Urban League). Unlike the meeting Houston delegates had at the White House, this particular meeting was held twice and lasted for several hours. Furthermore, the gentlemen met directly with Pres. Obama.