New Survey Highlights the Economic Stress that CA Black Women Face

By Kellie Todd Griffin

First-of-its-Kind Poll Highlights Key Concerns and Experiences of Black Women in California

The in-depth analysis is the first research project of the California Black Women’s Think Tank, led by the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute

The California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute, in collaboration with its research firm EVITARUS, released the first-ever California Black Women’s Quality of Life Survey. This groundbreaking study collected insights from 1,258 Black women voters across California to understand their economic state, most pressing concerns, their attitudes toward policymakers, and their experiences and issues in California.

“Black women in California and around the country are struggling socially and economically while serving as primary breadwinners of their households,” said Kellie Todd Griffin, President and CEO of the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute. “The results are sobering and paint a picture of the pressures that threaten Black women’s stability and financial security. This data is a call to action for meaningful change to policymakers, advocates and community leaders to address these pressing issues and disparity gaps.”

The study reveals the financial and economic burdens that Black women are facing as they contribute to their families, communities and the state. Nearly 2 in 5 Black women work multiple jobs, yet face significant challenges meeting basic expenses, indicating the strain caused by inflation and the rising cost of living in the Golden State. Among Black women who are employed, two thirds are considered primary breadwinners in their households.

Nearly half (40%) of respondents stated that racism and discrimination have limited their income and earning capacity, shedding light on the structural inequalities faced by Black women. Black women named not having enough money saved for retirement (77%), maintaining or achieving financial stability (76%) and being able to make ends meet (70%) as among other top concerns. A staggering 2 in 3 Black women reported having difficulty dealing with stress, reflecting the emotional toll of navigating social and economic pressures.

When asked about their top policy priorities for improving the lives of of women and girls in California, Black women point to the following solutions as being extremely important:

  • Ensuring that Black women earn equal pay for equal work compared to men and women of other backgrounds (88%)
  • Making housing more affordable (86%)
  • Doing more to protect Black women and girls from violence (85%)
  • Expanding access to quality, affordable health care (84%)
  • Expanding access to affordable, fresh, healthy food (80%)
  • Expanding access to mental health services (80%)

When asked about specific issues that Black Women experiences, respondents stated the following:

  • 72% state that there is some, little, or no opportunity for Black Women in California to get ahead today
  • 75% state that Black women are generally viewed negatively in society today
  • 1 out of 3 have experienced emotional or psychological abuse at some point over the last 12 months
  • 80% have experienced discrimination due to their race and ethnicity

Among other key findings, Black women are highly engaged and active participants in the democratic process. An overwhelming 90% of Black women reported voting or intending to vote in the November 2022 election, underscoring their high level of civic engagement, with 86% indicating it is crucial for Black people to vote in every election. In addition, 89% of Black women emphasized the importance of having Black representatives in elected office, reflecting their desire for diverse and inclusive political leadership.

The poll on Black women voters is the first public project of the California Black Women’s Think Tank, a policy research institute launched by the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment with its academic partner, California State University at Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). The institute focuses on improving structures and practices that impact the lives of Black women and girls across the state. It also serves as a resource for lawmakers, elected officials, business leaders, and advocacy organizations.

For more information and to access the full report, visit:

About California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute:

CA Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute, a 501C3 non-profit organization, is focused on improving the lives of Black Women and Girls throughout the state. Through partnerships with corporate, social, not for profit and advocacy entities, the Empowerment Institute develops programs and initiatives that have a meaningful impact on dismantling systemic social, economic and physical barriers. For more information:


EVITARUS is a Los Angeles-based, Black owned, public opinion research and public policy consulting firm that delivers actionable strategic advice and data to public policy, political, and corporate decision makers. Managing Partner Shakari Byerly served as the Principal Investigator and lead researcher on the study. For more information:


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