NCBW Recognizes Contributions of Black Women

New Organization Recognizes Contributions of Black Women

By Denise Meridith, CEO, Denise Meridith Consultants Inc.

There are many media stories out about the current low rate of unemployment, the surging stock market, rising consumer confidence, and other evidence of economic recovery in the US. But, what is getting little attention is, that despite high levels of education and historically strong work ethic, African-American women remain at the top of unemployment rolls (e.g., 8.9% vs 4% for white women), the bottom of the earnings ladder (paid 65 cents on the dollar paid to white men and 81 cents to white women), and are woefully underrepresented in US management positions and corporate boards. Last year, the National Coalition of Black Women—Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter was chartered to address these issues.

“Our purpose is to take action on the many challenging issues affecting Black women and girls in Arizona,” said Charlene Tarver, President of the organization. “We will actively promote Black culture and accomplishments; advocate social and economic equity; and identify, support and develop Black women leadership in all aspects of Arizona life.”

The NCBW members consists of women representing government agencies, corporations, small businesses, and academic, civic, and non-profit organizations, where they have been making major, but usually unheralded, contributions.

NCBW has had significant accomplishments in its first year. There was the wildly-popular first Legends Jazz to Celebrate the Legacy of Black Women at the historic Biltmore Resort. 

NCBW was active in civic affairs, playing a major role in Arizona Legislative Day activities, and hosting a reception for California Representative Maxine Waters and a networking event with Cindy McCain and Arizona Republican women legislators. It has boosted the visibility of Black-owned businesses, by hosting “Buy Black” events at local businesses.

Re: reducing racial tensions in the state, NCBW provided a school-wide cultural education workshop for students at Desert Vista High School, where several students had made national headlines by wearing racially-insulting tee shirts to class photo day. In cooperation with the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, NCBW held a standing-room-only media seminar: Phoenix Media in Black & White. NCBW was a sponsor for Phoenix appearances of successful Black women, like Soledad O’Brien and Viola Davis.

There are many challenges, beyond the economic ones (e.g., disproportionate increase in HIV/AIDs among African-American women, negative image of Arizona among people of color nationwide, etc.). But the NCBW is committed to providing more recognition and support to the many of Black women who are making currently unheralded contributions to Arizona, and to assist the many, talented girls and young professional Black women to achieve their dreams.

1) In 2016, NCBW-Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter met with Cindy McCain and Arizona State women legislators to discuss important issues, like sex trafficking, in Arizona.
2) Charlene Tarver, President of NCBW in Phoenix, visited with Earl “Butch” Graves Jr.-CEO of Black Enterprise Magazine, and recording artist Cece Peniston, during the Women of Power Summit, held in Phoenix in March 2017 (Photo by Hassan Kareem).
3) NCBW held a special event, with a showing of the movie Hidden Figures to encourage STEM studies among young girls.



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