The State of Black Women (“SOBW”) is an initiative of the Barbara Jordan Institute of Policy at Texas Southern University and the Defender Institute. Inspired by the initiative’s slogan, ‘The Power of US,’ the SOBW was established to give voice to the collective power of Black women. The SOBW hosts periodic think tanks, networking events, young women’s initiatives, and online forums will also be held to facilitate and advance the Black Women’s Agenda.
A co-host of the SOBW with the Barbara Jordan Institute of Policy at Texas Southern University, the Defender Institute is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote education and empowerment opportunities for people of color. Initiatives of the organization include: State of Black Women, State of Black Men, State of Black Houston, State of Black Health and State of Black Youth.
Sonceria (Sonny) Messiah-Jiles
CEO and Publisher
Dr. Carla D. Brailey
Texas Democratic Party Vice Chair
Assistant Professor, Texas Southern University
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
President & CEO
HillDay Public Relations, Inc.
Margo Williams Hubbard
More than 100 visionary Black women comprise the SOBW Advisory Team. These women stepped up initially to share their thoughts on the major issues facing Black women. The Advisors are comprised of consciously aware Black women who are using their platforms, influence and stories to inspire others and to advance the agenda ofBlack women.
The State of Black Women Summit developed from a SOBW Roundtable sponsored by the Houston Defender, the Barbara Jordan Institute at Texas Southern University at the Federal Reserve Bank in March 2019. More than 100 Black professional and grassroots women convened to discuss key areas impacting the quality of lives of Black women, primarily in the greater Houston area. The SOBW Summit emerged as a viable event to highlight the critical areas important to success of Black women. The State of Black Women Summit is the annual premier event of the SOBW where attendees can gain insight and the tools necessary to progress as workers, voters, entrepreneurs, community influencers and leaders in the UnitedStates.
More than 100 Houston-area women of vision gathered at the State of Black Women Roundtable on Friday, March 29, 2019, to determine the agenda for an upcoming SOBW Summit.
The roundtable was sponsored by the Defender Network and the Barbara Jordan Institute at Texas Southern University. Participants brought different areas of expertise and different levels of experience to the roundtable, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-Houston Branch.
Participants included educators, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, elected officials, engineers, doctors, attorneys, pastors, bankers, administrators and retirees.
They joined together to develop a list of the most pressing issues impacting Black women:
The success of the program will be defined by two overarching goals: 1) sharing the power of Black women’s knowledge and experiences to strengthen future generations; and 2) collectively utilizing the power of Black women to make changes in the quality of lives by enhancing their political, economic and social awareness and opportunities to advance in all those aspects.
We welcome your involvement and energy as we advance the Black Women’s Agenda. To join the advocacy, please click here.