This report seeks to expand conversations around educational opportunity by taking a comprehensive look at the barriers African American girls face and the educational and economic outcomes that result. One important barrier is the prevalence of stereotypes that adversely impact the educational experiences of African American girls. Structural and institutional barriers examined in this report — such as under-resourced schools, disparate discipline practices, gender-based violence and harassment, and lack of support for pregnant and parenting students— further compromise educational outcomes for African American girls.
The report offers solutions, setting forth recommendations to help advance African American girls’ educational opportunities and outcomes. We urge educators, school leaders, community leaders and members, advocates, policymakers, and philanthropic organizations to take action to advance the success of African American girls, complementing the important ongoing work to improve educational outcomes for boys and men of color. This is a call to unlock opportunity for African American girls. Our entire nation has a stake in ensuring the academic and professional success of all children.