NAACP at the Invisible Woman Conference

The NAACP's Lillian Bowie & Nicole Kenney

During Women’s History Month, the NAACP joined forces with Bennett College for women, the Research and Network on Ethnic Inequality, and Duke University in hosting the conference, “The Invisible Woman: The Status of and Challenges Facing Black Women”.

The Invisible Woman conference built upon the research examined in the 1986 landmark book edited by economists Julianne Malveaux and Margret Simms titled, “Slipping Through the Cracks: The Status of Black Women.”

Twenty-five years after the publication of “Slipping Through the Cracks,” a precursory search of the literature suggests that little research has been done examining the socio-economic status of black women.

Lillian Bowie, NAACP Director of Economic Partnerships & Development along with Nicole Kenney, NAACP Economic Program Specialist, brought forward opening remarks for the two-day conference and provided a brief overview of the legislative policies impacting African American women. Specifically, NAACP staff explored past and current public policies in the areas of employment, education, family structure, health issues, and wealth creation that have advanced opportunities for African American women or stifled growth.

According to Dr. Rhonda Sharpe, Associate Professor of Business & Economics at Bennett College and coordinator of the conference, “As the U.S. recovers from the “Great Recession”, the year 2011 is a pivotal time for critical deliberation because black women will face new challenges as the laws regulating the banking and health care industries change. These legal changes have the potential to either abate the health and wealth disparities between black and other women or exacerbate health and wealth disparities between black and other women.”

The conference proceeding will be published in a special volume of the Review of Black Political Economy (Springer Publisher).