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At the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls, we believe that women and girls’ leadership must be at the center of addressing the most pressing issues of our time. As we reflect on the economic and social impact of the past year on women and families, where women made up 100% of jobs lost in December, we recognize that belief rings true more than ever. This moment calls us to trust and amplify the voices, power, and leadership of women who are on the frontlines and creating bold solutions for women and families in the U.S. and across the globe.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we’d particularly like to acknowledge Black women, who continue to demonstrate their leadership in the face of deep social inequities. We revel in having the first woman and first Black and Indian woman holding the highest office in the U.S., Vice President Kamala Harris. We honor the strategic work of Black women in Georgia, including Stacey Abrams, activist and founder of Fair Fight, Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta, LaTosha Brown, activist and co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, and Nsé Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project. Their collective activism and organizing helped catalyze this monumental political shift in American history.

We applaud the historic nominations and appointments of Black women leaders in government. We look to the leadership of Susan Rice, director of the U.S. Domestic Policy Council, who will guide the Biden administration’s initiative to advance racial equity throughout U.S. federal policies and institutions. We also recognize Cecilia Rouse, who may become the first Black woman to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers; and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee Marcia Fudge, who may become the second Black woman to ever hold the position. Linda Thomas-Greenfield would also be the second Black woman to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. As we commemorate this new era of leadership, we also join our partners in celebrating the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council and the appointments of its co-chairs Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso.

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