On Friday, July 11, 2008, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) held a Black Women’s Town Hall Meeting in their headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue. The purpose of the Town Hall Meeting was to put together the Black women’s agenda to be presented to the Democratic and Republican parties prior to the election. Dorothy Height, the NCNW Chair and President Emerita, made the opening remarks, and the panels were laden with phenomenal women including Faye Wattleton (Center for the Advancement of Women), Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Bennett College), Daphne Valerius (produced “The Souls of Black Girls”), Sheryl Huggins Salomon (NiaPulse), Eleanor Hinton-Hoytt (Black Women’s Health Imperative), Dr. Jane Smith (Spelman College), Melanie Campbell (Natl Coalition on Black Civic Participation), Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley (Howard University), and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever (NCNW). Blanche Williams, who does a talk show on XM Radio and has a book entitled “Greatness by Design,” was the moderator. Barbara McKinzie, National President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., also accepted the Landmark of Greatness Award on behalf of her sorority.
The major issues discussed were the rise in AIDS among Black women, poverty, lack of healthcare, and the need for quality education….none of which were new, but the discussions proved beneficial for the purpose of creating the Black women’s agenda. During the discussion of Black women’s issues of economics, Dr. Malveaux stated that since most Black women are trying to maintain households on their own in an economy where two incomes are necessary, economics will continue to be one of our primary issues. Does everything come back to the decline of the Black family?!