This week, Sandhurst AEC would like to spotlight the Black Women’s Roundtable Virginia for all the work they do to engage Black women in politics in our state. The group launched in 2021 as an initiative of the National Coalition for Black Civic Engagement, and they use their branch to provide resources and support to different initiatives like voter registration, Get Out The Vote programs, leadership development, and encouraging Black women to run for office.
We talked to organizer Krysta Jones about BWR VA and their work. She emphasized that the organization acts as a “365 days a year advocate” because every year in Virginia is an election year. They work to prepare and educate communities ahead of elections as a form of preventative work. This may include teaching people about how redistricting works, or showing minors the ways they can be a part of politics even when they’re not old enough to vote.
Recently BWR VA hosted several virtual events called “Economic Empowerment & Wealth Building Policy Project for Women of Color” where Black women in different parts of the state could watch a panel discussion on the most pressing issues facing Black women economically while being allowed to participate in polls that asked questions related to the different topics. The events were hosted in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase and the Sadie Collective. Sandhurst employees attended the virtual event for Northern Virginia participants, where panelists discussed topics like student debt reform, childcare, housing, and access to capital for small businesses. Each panelist was an expert on their topic and showed how these issues affect everyone, but also have a disproportionate impact on Black women.
The purpose of polling participants in the meeting is to eventually create a report that can be sent to political candidates so that they can better understand Black women’s perspectives. BWR VA also plans to hold a future panel that discusses elected officials.