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.
"As POTUS I will appoint Supreme Court justices and nominate justices all across the board who will represent the needs of people of color, of working people, and who are prepared to believe and fight for for justice, not just the people on top" #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/EXcQZE0QHc— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 24, 2019
"When we are talking about justice we are also talking about the massive levels of racial disparity in this county.. White families have 10x the wealth of Black families." @BernieSanders #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/QjxD3X5BfB— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 24, 2019
As the marijuana industry continues to grow, there are people of color sitting behind bars for doing the exact same thing. It's time we changed the system. #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/7KotnCqihx— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 24, 2019
While answering a question on the higher Black maternal mortality rates, @EWarren discusses how regardless of the mother's income or education, a lot of the issues that arise come down to prejudice.— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) April 24, 2019
She then discusses her plan on how to address it. #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/in7PJbMfgp
After @JoyAnnReid asked about why she decided to travel to the Mississippi Delta despite it not being a swing state, @EWarren talks about her housing proposal. #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/Uv4VHIvwPL— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) April 24, 2019
Getting straight to the point: Do you see taxing corporations as a racial justice issue? What’s your commitment to fighting for racial and economic justice? @ConMijente at #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/q9kCQQ48pt— Groundswell Action Fund (@groundswellaxn) April 24, 2019
Good morning, Twitter angels. It's 6AM, pitch black outside, in a few hours this auditorium will be PACKED with America's most progressive decision makers: women of color. #SheThePeople2020 pic.twitter.com/yXH5pF9LO7— She the People (@_shethepeople) April 24, 2019
SheThePeople2020 is the first Presidential Forum that is for us, by us. Tomorrow we will make history in Houston, Texas! @BlackVotersMtr issl excited to be a partner. ✊🏾 #shethepeople2020 @_shethepeople pic.twitter.com/fJ8j6fC2BE— LaTosha Brown (@MsLaToshaBrown) April 23, 2019
MOOD 😍😍😍 about a few things today: 1)spending time with & learning alongside @IndivisibleTeam group leaders who are in Houston for #ShethePeople2020 2)gratitude for the subtle yet sweet hospitality in Houston 3)breaking bread together at the iconic & delicious @LucillesFood pic.twitter.com/cpxJLSc0si— Mari Urbina (@TiaMari489) April 24, 2019