CCSWG Honors Black Women Making History During Black History Month

Black History Month first originated as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who launched Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February — between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, every American president has proclaimed February as Black History Month. Today, other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also devote an entire month to celebrating black history.

This year, CCSWG celebrates the struggles and accomplishments of Black women throughout history as well as the incredible achievements of those making history. From a young inaugural poet to California’s first Black, female Secretary of State to the first Black woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States of America we salute and celebrate the Glass Ceiling Breakers! 

Learn more about the art project pictured here honoring Vice President Kamala Harris and the journey to this moment in history by artist Simon Berger and co-funded by the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) and Chief, a private network for female entrepreneurs, by clicking the button below.


Shirley Chisolm

“Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). Her motto and title of her autobiography—Unbossed and Unbought—illustrates her outspoken advocacy for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Senator Carol Moseley-Braun

“The first African-American woman Senator, Carol Moseley-Braun was also only the second Black Senator since the Reconstruction Era.

‘“I cannot escape the fact that I come to the Senate as a symbol of hope and change,” Moseley-Braun said shortly after being sworn in to office in 1993. “Nor would I want to, because my presence in and of itself will change the U.S. Senate.”’ During her single term in office, Senator Moseley-Braun advocated for civil rights issues and for legislation on crime, education, and families.”

Dr. Mae C. Jemison

“Dr. Mae C. Jemison is an American astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African American woman in space. 

After leaving the astronaut corps in March 1993, Jemison accepted a teaching fellowship at Dartmouth. She also established the Jemison Group, a company that seeks to research, develop and market advanced technologies.”

'Not Broken But Simply Unfinished'

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. She has written for the New York Times and has three books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, her words have won her invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others. She is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States. In 2017 UrbanWord and the Library of Congress named her the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States.

Women of Color and the Fight for Women's Suffrage

After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women of color were often kept from the polls through a variety of tactics. They faced racial and ethnic discrimination and were often discouraged from voting via violence. We have come a long way, but we still have miles to go to achieve equality for all and especially for women of color.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Congratulations to California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber!

California lawmakers confirmed CCSWG Commissioner Dr. Shirley N. Weber as Secretary of State, making history as she becomes the first Black elections chief in California. Congratulations to an incredible advocate for women and girls and tireless champion for equity! We look forward to your continued leadership in this barrier-breaking role.

COVID-19 Response

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has compiled resources and guidance regarding the COVID-19 crisis and response. Multiple Commissioners offer regular tele-updates and town halls and have compiled additional resource libraries. Please click the button to be taken to the CCSWG resource page and check back regularly for additional resources and updates. 

Closing the Pay Gap

Join the Commission and the Office of the First Partner in taking the Pay Equity Pledge.

When you sign the pledge, your company commits to conduct an annual company-wide gender pay analysis; review hiring and promotion processes to reduce bias and barriers; and identify and promote other best practices that will close the pay gap.

Congratulations Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes!

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) celebrates Speaker Rendon’s appointment of Commissioner Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes to the position of Assembly Majority Leader.

Commissioner and Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) made history when she became the first Latina to hold this position in December 2020. She is also the Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee and serves on the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, Budget Committee, Judiciary Committee, Utilities and Energy Committee and Legislative Ethics Committee.

Every year, women in California lose 78.6 billion dollars to the pay gap. In 2016, California passed the strongest equal pay laws in the country – but passing a law is only the first step. That’s why the Office of the First PartnerThe CA Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and TIME’S UP have joined forces to spread the word to both employers and employees about how to close the pay gap. Click the buttons below to download the Equal Pay Fact Sheet. 

Companies That Have Taken The Equal Pay Pledge

The following companies have signed our equal pay pledge. Now it’s your turn – join us and take the Pay Equity Pledge, check out the #EqualPayCA resources developed by the Commission’s Pay Equity Task Force, and download the social media toolkit.
Airbnb Apple
AT&TAutodeskBlue Shield of CaliforniaBoxBranch Metrics
Children’s Home of StocktonCiscoDrifteBayThe Grateful Dog, Inc
First CapitolFisher & Phillips LLPGap Inc.GustoIke Robotics
IntelJust Us 4 YouthLending Maxim Integrated
Medallia Inc. Metromile Ripple Foods SalesforceShutterfly
SimplecastSMUDSnapdocsSocial GlassSquare
SunRun Inc.Sunshine SachsTuSimpleUberZynga

Click here to check out the #EqualPayCA resources developed by the Commission’s Pay Equity Task Force, and download the social media toolkit. Or, if you are ready… 

About the Commission

For more than 50 years, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. Established as a state agency with 17 appointed commissioners in 1965, the Commission regularly assesses gender equity in health, safety, employment, education, and equal representation in the military, and the media. The Commission provides leadership through research, policy and program development, education, outreach and collaboration, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.

2020 -2021 Commission Meetings

August 3, 2020  11am -1pm

December 7, 2020   11am-1pm

February 8, 2021   11am-1pm

May 10, 2021   11am -1pm

Donate Now

The Commission thrives on the support of our community. Click here to make contribution to the Women and Girls Fund and then join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and receive notices of Commission meetings.

NOTICE OF MEETINGCalifornia Commission on the Status of Women and GirlsFull Commission Business MeetingMonday, February 8, 202111:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please note: Due to COVID-19, this meeting will be...

Author: Commission News

Go to Meeting Notices for the annual Commission meeting schedule, meeting notices, and materials.

Visit the California Pay Equity Task Force page for materials.

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Website Accessibility Certification

Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

Certification Date
July 1, 2019


The undersigned certify that, as of June 28, 2019, the internet website of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is designed, developed and maintained to be in compliance with California Government Code Sections 7405 and 11135, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, or a subsequent version, July 1, 2019, published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium at a minimum Level AA success criteria.

Kendra Harris                                                         Gary Renslo
June 28, 2019                                                        June 28, 2019
Executive Director                                                Chief Information Officer