It’s #GivingTuesday, when charities invite us to open our wallets and donate. You may be thinking: Haven’t I already given enough? You may have. Only you can decide, of course, but bear this in mind:
*In 2018, there were 11.69 million widows in America.
*People whose spouses have just died have a whopping 66% increased chance of dying themselves within the first three months following their spouse's death. That's the word from a 2013 study in the Journal of Public Health that was based on responses from 12,316 participants who were followed for 10 years. (https://www.verywellmind.com/surviving-widowhood-4011236)
*Widowed women of color have unique circumstances that aren't always addressed in most widow support groups and organizations - nor magazines.
* The financial strain of long-term widowhood can be more pronounced for women of ethnic and racial minority status who may be less closely tied to the formal economy of wages and pensions. (Wearing the Garment of Widowhood: Variations in Time Since Spousal Loss Among CommunityDwelling Older Adults)
* Black women are much less likely than other women to be eligible for Social Security Spouse or Widow Benefits. Estimated Percentage of Women Ineligible for Social Security Spouse or Widow Benefits because of Marital History among 50-59 Year-Olds is 34% (Black Women in the United States, 2014 - The Washington Post)
* Black women confront many of the same issues as white women, as black men, and as working people in general, but these issues are compounded by the intersection of race and gender. In addition, black women suffer from not only the burden of their own employment obstacles but also from the lack of economic security among black men, and this third burden, which, as economist and college president Julianne Malveaux recently observed, is "why African American women cannot separate interests of race and issues of gender in analysis of political candidates, economic realities, or social and cultural realities." Black women may share policy agendas with black men and with white women, but it is important that the specific impacts of policies on black women not be ignored as we pursue common goals. (Black Women: The Unfinished Agenda. Wearing the Garment of Widowhood: Variations in Time Since Spousal Loss Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults)
*To date, out of 52 members surveyed, 55.8% BWWE respondents found mental health resources useful when coping with the death of their spouse. (BWWE Surveys are still in progress)
Would you consider giving to Black Women Widows Empowered?