Too often, when we talk about issues facing girls, the discussion fails to recognize the ways in which sexism, racism, and economic inequality interact to create barriers that are unique to girls and women of color living in poverty. To start a conversation that centers the needs of these individuals, we hosted a listening session with Girls for Gender Equity to hear from the experts themselves, young women of color living in New York and advocates that support them. This report memorializes their stories and possible solutions to persistent problems they face in school, in their communities, and at home.

This report explores a variety of issues affecting girls and young women of color and policy solutions to those problems, such as:

  • School push out, including unfair discipline informed by school administrators’ implicit biases and discrimination that makes young parents feel unwelcome at school;
  • The negative effects that over-policing in communities of color and economically distressed neighborhoods have on young women involved in the juvenile and criminal justice system;
  • The struggle to survive and thrive in communities where sexual harassment, violence, and abuse often go overlooked and unaddressed;
  • The absence of school resources aimed at addressing the needs of girls who need academic or mental health counseling; and
  • Barriers to succeeding in college and beyond, including how the expectation that women take on caregiving responsibilities impedes young women’s ability to achieve and maintain economic security for themselves.