Nearly half of the very wide field of Democratic presidential candidates was slated to take part in the 2020 election season’s first event taking aim at the most coveted of voting demographics: women of color. So it wasn’t surprising in the least that the proper location for the “She the People Presidential Forum,” taking place Wednesday afternoon, should be a historically Black college.
Texas Southern University was hosting eight White House hopefuls at what was being billed as “the first-ever Presidential candidate forum focused on women of color.” The forum was set to begin at 1 p.m. local time or 2 p.m. EDT.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren were all confirmed for the event. They also happen to be some of the most outspoken candidates on topics that resonate deeply with voters of color, such as voter suppression, the racial wealth equality gap and reparations.
“Women of color are the most progressive voters in the country,” Aimee Allison, president of She the People, told Houston Public Media recently. “And we’re interested in a whole wide range of social, economic and racial justice issues, and so we’ll be exploring those with the candidates.”
As a Democratic voting bloc, Black women were key to helping Hillary Clinton win the popular vote in 2016. However, the party has failed to be forceful on issues that matter to the Black community, such as criminal justice reform, education and health care, according to New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
“Black women have long been on the forefront of change and progress in this country. Sadly, we are so often left on the sidelines of critical discussions and policymaking that disparately impacts us and the communities we support,” Coleman told the Post.
Candidates in the “She the People Presidential Forum” probably had that in mind when signing on to participate.
To watch the “She the People Presidential Forum” live online, viewers can stream the event via She The People’s official Facebook page by clicking here, or you can watch below.
The anticipation across social media was at a fever pitch ahead of the forum. Scroll down to see some scenes and tweets about the “She the People Presidential Forum” at Texas Southern University.