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These black women are leading the way in business, politics, and economics



Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Southern District of New York gets a new leader in dramatic fashion, the Black Lives Matter movement is growing in France, and black women share their expertise across industries in Fortune. Have a productive Monday. 

– Monday morning opinions. In recent weeks, black women across business, politics, and economics have shared their expertise with Fortune. This Monday morning, I’d like to highlight some of their work.

First, we have Crystal Ashby, interim president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization that supports the development of black executives. Ashby, who also joined us earlier this month for a roundtable on racism and allyship, in this piece counters a longstanding, flawed argument in white corporate America. The lack of black leaders in Fortune 500 companies and beyond (there are five black CEOs in the Fortune 500, none of whom are women) is not due to a dearth of talent, she says. Instead, what black executives and potential executives lack are opportunities for advancement.

“We are proud to help our own,” Ashby writes of her work with the Executive Leadership Council, “but we need willing partners to create more opportunities for black talent in corporate America.” Read her full op-ed here.

On Friday—the first Juneteenth to be widely celebrated by American companies—Rep. Marcia Fudge wrote for Fortune about how the U.S. education system has failed to teach black history as what it is: American history. Fudge in May introduced the Black History Is American History Act, which would require the only national test administered to all students to include black history and would provide grants to teachers and students.

Fudge chooses a poignant example: the way Oklahoma has changed how it teaches the history of Tulsa’s once-booming Greenwood neighborhood, also known as Black Wall Street, and how that community was destroyed in the Tulsa Massacre. The state for decades buried that history, but now includes the truth of the city’s past in its textbooks.

Read Fudge’s full piece here.

Finally, Fanta Traore, founder of the Sadie Collective, which addresses the underrepresentation of black women in economics, published this story highlighting 19 black economists to celebrate and know. Learn about the work of scholars Dana Francis, Jhacova Williams, Kristen Broady, and more.

Emma Hinchliffe

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