Big 10: After Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation, what’s the historic hire — or long-overdue change —you hope comes next?

Big 10: After Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation, what’s the historic hire — or long-overdue change —you hope comes next?

One glass ceiling shattered with the confirmation of new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, many more to go. We asked a panel of 10 African American women: Other than president, what’s the historic hire — or long-overdue change — you hope comes next?

“Seeing the confirmation of Hon. Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman U.S. Supreme Court justice, like many other firsts for Black women, is bittersweet. It is important to celebrate significant milestones such as these, but it is also tiresome that we still have so many firsts for Black people 400 years after setting foot on Native American soil.

“The next glass ceiling I would like to see shattered for Black women is the gender wage gap. On average in 2020, women earned 83 cents for every dollar earned by men; however, this does not account for the intersection of race and gender, which leads Black women to earn only 64 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic White men.

“Addressing this huge disparity would impact not just one woman, but an entire class of women, their families and their communities. This is one of the reasons that affordable, accessible higher education is essential for social mobility so that 400 years from now we are not still celebrating firsts.”

GENESIS GEBIL, Champaign Central High senior
“My first thought was president but us Black women are already getting into that realm and hopefully more of us follow.

“My thoughts after led to me thinking about where I would like to see more Black women in my personal life — the educational system.

“Not just as teachers and aides but in those admin roles, being a voice for Black students. Throughout my high school experience, I really connected with admins and equity administrators who were Black women — not only because of their race but because it made us learn we belong in those spaces, too

“We can go on forever about how behind the times we are when it comes to women and equality in the workplace, and there are tons of positional and salary issues pertaining to women.

“My obvious answer would relate to sports, of course — I would love to see more African American women, and women in general, in head coaching positions in these high-level sports — the NFL, NBA, NHL, NBL, athletic directors, college coaches and college presidents, just to mention a few.

“Men coach women’s sports — basketball, flag football, soccer, swimming, softball, track and field and so on — so why aren’t women coaching men’s sports?

“I strongly believe women are more than capable of doing so and deserve more opportunities than they have been given. We are definitely behind the times and need to catch up quickly.”

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