“Fired up!” and “Ready for the Fight” were consistent rally calls during the Sixth Annual Black Women’s Roundtable Summit recently held in Washington, D.C. “The time is now. We have to be fired up and ready for the fight as we move our agenda forward in a Post-Obama era,” said Rev. Dr. Judith C. Moore, executor of the local BWR affiliate, Sisters Saving Ourselves Now. She was one of four Pittsburghers that participated in the four-day summit.
The purpose of the summit, according to President and CEO of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and Convener of the BWR, Melanie L. Campbell, was for the participants, nearly 300 women and girls, to advance issues of importance to women, their families and the communities they serve. “Throughout the years, we have proven that we were ready for the fight and during this summit we prepared participants to sustain, overcome and take action,” said Campbell. Some activities during the summit included; the release the of the fourth BWR’s Black Women in the U.S. and Key States, 2017: Moving Our Agenda Forward for a Post-Obama Era Report, a press conference addressing the federal budget, Supreme Court nominee and the Affordable Health Care Act held at the House Triangle on Capitol Hill, the Public Policy Education and Action Day visits to Congressional representatives, and other panel discussions.
The summit’s theme was “Invest. Inspire. Unite. Act!” What Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas described as “a thin budget” was discussed. The proposed 2018 discretionary budget request of $1.06 trillion is calculated as a reduction of $2.7 billion from the 2017 enacted fiscal year total. The budget, according to summit participants, will harshly affect children, senior citizens and low-income families. Some agencies slated to experience significant cuts include Agricultural, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency. Budget increases are proposed for the Defense Department and Homeland Security.