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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois


U.S. Rep. Kelly Marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day with Empowerment Symposium

Aug 22, 2019
Press Release
Annual Event Focuses on Pay Equity, Visibility and Inclusion in the Workplace

Chicago, IL – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Symposium at Chicago State University to spotlight the occasion of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.

“Equal pay is really a matter of economic security, for our families and entire nation,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “Not only does the wage gap hurt women and their immediate families and communities, it hurts the overall economy by depressing the buying power of black families.”

The Symposium, “Power Moves: Strategies for Success,” featured some of Chicago’s most dynamic women professionals in finance, labor, marketing and human resources, offering guidance on negotiating pay raises and advancement, and successfully branding your talent and business. Dorri McWhorter, CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, served as keynote speaker and moderator.

“My goal for the event was for everyone to walk out with something – a new network connection, a mentee or a strategy on how to get that long-awaited raise or promotion,” added Congresswoman Kelly. “As co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, I’m working with my colleagues to build a more inclusive, fair and just economy by empowering black women to break the glass ceiling and redesign the economy and workforce from the inside out.”

Through panels and interactive sessions, the symposium also addressed small business development, dressing for success and the gender-based wage gap that has placed Black women at a severe economic disadvantage, regardless of their level of education or professional attainment.

At the event, Congresswoman Kelly highlighted her newly introduced Women and Minority Equity Investment Act. The legislation would amend overly restrictive requirements to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8a and 8m programs that prevent many participating business owners from accepting private capital and equity investment. The legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Small Business Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, founded in 2016, is the first Congressional caucus to specifically address the needs of black women and girls, their families and their communities. This is the ninth event the Caucus has hosted in the 2nd Congressional District. Additional caucus events have been hosted across the country, including New York, Washington D.C. and Seattle.


Robin Kelly



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