Celebrating National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day


AUGUST 22 MARKS BLACK WOMEN’S EQUAL PAY DAY AROUND THE WORLD. 12 NEWS LANAYA LEWIS TAKES US TO NEW HORIZON CHURCH, WHERE SEVERAL ORGANIZATIONS MET TO DISCUSS THE PAY GAP BETWEEN BLACK WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE. PKG BLACK WOMEN’S PAY DAY MARKS THE DAY BLACK WOMEN FINALLY CATCH UP TO WHITE MALES WAGE FROM THE YEAR BEFORE. IN MISSISSIPPI, THIS PROBLEM IS AN EVERY DAY STRUGGLE FOR BLACK WOMEN AS THEY ONLY MAKE 56 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR OF A WHITE MALE WHO’S NON- HISPANIC. CASSANDRA WELCHLIN “If she’s not getting what she needs then her family is affected by that. She can’t pay for child care. She’s losing money and she can’t pay for rent. She can’t just make ends meet.” AND AS EACH YEAR GOES BY, THESE SAME WOMEN HOPE THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE WILL PASS A MUCH-NEEDED WOMEN’S EQUAL PAY LAW. ACCORDING TO REPRESENTATIVE ALYCE CLARKE, MISSISSIPPI IS THE ONLY STATE WITHOUT ONE, AND SHE’S BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS TO CHANGE THAT. ALYCE CLARKE “It’s been many times… and we feel good… we think we’ve got it and then we look around and there are some people that we were expecting to support it, they forget they said they were going to do that.” ALONG WITH EQUAL WAGES, THIS HOLIDAY IS ALSO ABOUT RECOGNIZING WOMEN WHO WORK NON- TRADITIONAL JOBS. LIKE DIANNE SMITH WHO FOUND HER LOVE FOR BEING A TRUCK DRVER – AFTER ESCAPING AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. DIANNE SMITH “It’s really easy for women to be truck drivers. You dress any kind of way, you can still get your nails and hair done and all that… and still be pretty at the same time.” EVEN THOUGH BLACK WOMEN’S PAY DAY IS CELEBRATED ONE DAY OF THE YEAR, MISSISSIPPI BLACK WOMEN’S ROUNDTABLE IS HOPING THE AWARENESS WILL CAUSE A MUCH NEEDED DISCUSSION ABOUT EQUALITY IN THE MAGNOLIA STATE. IN JACKSON, LANAYA LEWIS 12

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