Survey of women of color in R.I. presented at Providence City Hall

Sista Fire, which advocates for needs of women of color, surveyed more than 200 women on issues related to social, political, economic and health topics.

PROVIDENCE — The celebration of International Women’s Day at City Hall Friday evening featured a host of voices, from city politicians and activists; yet some powerful words came from silent posters, hung around the third floor presenting the findings of a survey of women of color in Rhode Island.

“Once in college, support is almost nil,” one person wrote in marker in response to a statistic that 30 percent of respondents were only able to complete “some college.”

“I don’t think there are enough jobs here,” another response — taken directly from the survey — said. “I think when there’s less jobs, then women of color are more likely to get shortchanged because we can be considered lower on the totem pole.”

The results were presented at the event sponsored by the Providence City Council, Sista Fire, Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Sista Fire — a Providence-based organization that advocates for the needs of women of color — asked more than 200 women questions related to social, political, economic and health issues.

“We did this because there isn’t enough data on us,” Abeer Khatana, a member from Cranston, said to the more than 50 people present. “We need to have a seat at the table.”

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