Georgia’s new guaranteed income program called In Her Hands aims to support more than 600 Black women across the peach state with $850 per month. The new initiative, which was announced on Dec. 8, hopes to dole out the financial support for at least two years, according to the organization’s website.
In Her Hands is spearheaded by the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund (Gro Fund) which is compromised of a group of local elected officials and nonprofits. The new program is powered by GiveDirectly, an organization that allows donors to give money to poverty-stricken families across the globe. As of Dec. 13, The Gro Fund has generated over $9 million in donations.
According to The Huffington Post, the initiative will examine how stable cash flow can impact the financial and emotional well-being of Black women living below the poverty line while providing actionable steps towards hopefully tackling the wealth and racial poverty gap. Eligible candidates will receive the supportive funds with no additional strings attached, The Gro Fund’s executive director Hope Wollensack said, according to 11 Alive.
“In Her Hands initiative will not only provide greater economic stability for program participants but will generate much-needed learnings on policies to advance an economy of shared prosperity,” Wollensack told the news outlet adding that the cash would be given to “individuals and families to invest in what they need – from providing for basic needs, to keeping a roof over their heads, to paying for medical care, to investing in their family and future – and maintain agency over their lives while doing so.”
Black women continue to be disproportionately impacted by the wage gap crisis. According to The National Partnership For Women & Families, Black women in the United States make on average “$41,098 a year, compared to median wages for white and non-Hispanic men,” which stands at $65,208 annually. This amounts to a startling difference of $24,1100 every year. With the decline of financial support, Black women are struggling to provide for their families and to save for the future–creating an endless cycle of poverty. The GBPI notes that in Georgia alone, 26 percent of Black women live in poverty, compared to 14 percent of white women.
The wealth disparities of Black women have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A record number of working Black women lost their job at the height of the economic crisis. Back in January, nearly 11,000 Black women left the workforce due to economic hardship, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in a report. The August Jobs report detailed the startling reality noting that industries like child care, hospitality, and local government, where Black women are largely employed, experienced slower rebounds following the pandemic.