Over the past year and a half, the African American Policy Forum has engaged in conversations, released open letters, published a variety of op-eds, conducted television and radio interviews, and produced a series of nationally-broadcast Webinars concerning President Obama's signature initiative, "My Brother's Keeper."

We have built a campaign calling for the inclusion of girls and young women of color–in addition to boys and young men of color–in the initiative, because we believe that any program purporting to uplift the lives of youth of color cannot narrow its focus exclusively on just half of the community. We understand that the personal and institutional barriers facing boys and young men of color must also be confronted by our sisters, and any racial justice initiative geared towards removing those barriers must account for the lives of all youth of color. If the air is toxic, it is toxic for everyone who has to breathe it.

On this page is a collection of the articles and essays produced by the #WhyWeCantWait movement. In addition we have featured suggested works that we feel embody the #WhyWeCantWait spirit. 

We hope you continue to follow our campaign, and feel free to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or concerns about the campaign at info@aapf.org. 

Recommendations from the AAPF:


  • What would REAL LOVE for Women and Girls of Color Look Like?, African American Policy Forum, available HERE

Reasons #WhyWeCantWait and why #BlackGirlsMatter

  • Why Intersectionality Can't Wait, Kimberle Crenshaw, The Washington Post, available HERE

  • The Girls Obama Forgot, Kimberle Crenshaw, New York Times, available HERE

  • #HerDreamDeferred: An Online Series on the Status of Black Women, African American Policy Forum, available HERE

  • Female Visibility Matters, Salamishah Tillet, New York Times, available HERE

  • Black Men and White Women Leapfrog Over Black WomenOscar Blayton, Black Press USA available HERE

Including Black Women and Girls

  • Barack Obama gave the most important racial justice speech of his presidency. Here's Why, Brittney Cooper, Salon, available HERE

  • Obama's call to lift up black women gets applause, but some want specific plan, Vanessa Williams, Washington Post, available HERE

  • We Need to Be Our Brother's and Sister's Keeper, Luke Charles Harris, Black Press USA, available HERE

  • Why Girls of Color Should Be Included in My Brother’s Keeper, Salamishah Tillet, The Root, available HERE

  • Why did President Obama leave out the girls?, Paul Butler, CNN, available HERE 

  • “Not going to lie down and take it”: Black women are being overlooked by this president, Britney Cooper, Salon, available HERE

  • Am I My Sister’s Keeper?, Kiese Laymon, Ms. Magazine, available HERE  

  • Darnell L. Moore on Love, Liberation and Critiquing 'My Brother's Keeper', Darnell Moore, Ebony, available HERE

  • A Systems Perspective to ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, Marlon Peterson, The Brooklyn Reader, available HERE

State Violence

  • #SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, African American Policy Forum, available HERE

  • Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, African American Policy Forum, available HERE

  • Black Girls Also Victims of Gun Violence, Marlon Peterson, Black Press USA, available HERE

  • 5 Black Women Share Their Experiences With the Police, Darnell Moore, Mic.com, available HERE

  • The Criminalization of the Black Woman, Raven Rakia, Ebony.com, available here

Private Violence

  • The truth commission on black women and sexual violence, black women's blueprint, available here

Wealth Disparities

Health Disparities

  • Genes Don't Cause Racial-Health Disparity, Society Does, Jason Silverstein, The Atlantic, available HERE

  • Black Women More Likely to Get Wrong Breast Cancer Care, Study Confirms, Maggie Fox, Available here

  • Sexism and racism take toll on Black women’s health, Jazelle Hunt, Available here

  • New Study: Racism Can Make Kids Sick—for the Rest of Their Lives, Gabrielle Canon, available here