Young Women's Leadership

Human Rights Commissions

The SRBWI Human Rights Commissions are led by black women community leaders and elected officials.

At least ten local women, including two youth, form each commission. The Commissions implement a local action agenda for achieving economic and social justice.


Organized 11 Human Rights Commissions across the 3 states who have attended school board meetings to demand accountability, sought to diversify the teaching workforce, fought for full funding of K-12 and early childhood education, worked in collaboration on immigration issues, provided access to health care for their communities, and participated in state and national forums to inform policy makers about challenges in their communities.

Get Involved

To establish a Human Rights Commission in your community, contact Carol Blackmon at

Marguerite Casey

What is Equal Voice?

The Marguerite Casey Foundation created Equal Voice for America’s Families as a campaign to address, in their own words, two primary questions:

  1. What would a nationwide movement aimed at raising the voices of poor and working families look like?
  2. What would it take to spark and sustain a movement that ensured those voices were heard, not on a single issue but across all issues that affected their lives?

This campaign brought together tens of thousands of low-income families to create a platform to be heard, affecting public policy and grow advocacy to improve the economic conditions for their families and communities.

Equal Voice for America’s Families believes:

  • No family should live in poverty.
  • Prosperity and security begin with every person’s right to work in a well-paid job, to be healthy and educated and to live in a safe community.
  • Equal opportunity should lead to equal outcomes.
  • Public policies should promote everyone’s ability to reach their full potential and advance the common good.
  • Families should have an equal voice in shaping policies and the future of their communities.
  • Society should support family unity, encourage the healthy development of children and youth and foster respect for all people.
  • Strong families make America strong.

Learn more about the Equal Voices for America’s Families campaign.

Raising Voices for Southern Rural Black Women

In 2013, SRBWI introduced an Equal Voice membership campaign to the participants at the Unita Blackwell Institute and to Human Rights Commission leads, selected commissioners and other young women gathering in Metairie, LA. During this meeting, Marguerite Casey Equal Voice (MCEV) interest forms were revised and benchmark goals were set for the commissions in each state.

Equal Voice Interest Form Goals for Human Rights Commissions

Alabama – 930

Georgia – 1000

Mississippi – 1500

The young women at the Unita Blackwell Institute also set benchmark goals. To meet these goals, MCEV pledge cards were given out at large public gatherings and during other social opportunities.
As of March 7, 2014, there have been 4,014 contacts made in Mississippi and 1,638 completed Equal Voice interest forms.