In honor of Black Women’s Equity Day Aug. 22, local women gathered together to raise awareness about the enduring problem of pay inequality and its effect on women of color.
Brookhaven town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station), along with Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Wheatley Heights), Babylon town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon (D-Copiague) and Victoria Gumbs Moore, Esq., spoke with children in the Keep Your Change program in North Amityville and other young women at Bethel AME Church in Setauket Aug. 21. The women led activities with the youth to illustrate pay disparities and discussed the effects on families and community.
“Unequal pay and discrimination impact a woman of color as an individual, it impacts her family and the larger society,” Cartright said. “As the mother of a young Haitian-American girl, I want my daughter to know that her mother fought for equal rights and equal pay for women of color when I had the opportunity.”
Speaking at the meeting, the women spoke to the young people about the continuing culture surrounding issues of pay equity.
“I am proud to say that this experience has given me faith that these issues will not be allowed to endure another generation,” she said.
Moore, a past president of Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association and past president of Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association, said young black women need to know their inherent value.
“It’s important that young women know their value and learn that being paid anything less than their full value is unacceptable,” she said.
Jean-Pierre said the issue needs to be addressed in every instance.
“We won’t achieve real economic justice unless we confront this issue head-on, and I was pleased to join some of my colleagues to help start and continue this much-needed conversation,” she said.
The Black Women’s Equity Day is Aug. 22 this year. It was commemorated by the National Bar Association, which asked its membership to participate nationwide.