On Equal Pay Day

March 21, 2022 by  
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Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

On Equal Pay Day last week, First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom addressed the gender and race wage gap in the U.S. and the state, as the federal government announced similar plans.

“In [California], we have some of the strongest pay laws in the nation, but women still earn just $.86 on the dollar and that number plummets for women of color,” said Newsom.

“While sexism and racism are distinct forms of discrimination that manifest differently, their effects are compounded when a person experiences both at the same time. Intersectional discrimination perpetuates the racial and gender wealth gaps, limits Black women’s access to educational opportunities, and impedes their career advancement,” it reads on the AAUW’s website.

Last week, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced plans to implement measures to combat the gender and racial wage gap last Tuesday.

Equal Pay Day was March 15.

Department of Labor Chief Economist Janelle Jones wrote that educated Black and Brown women are representative of this estimate.

“Black and Latina women with only a bachelor’s degree have the largest gap at 65%, and Black women with advanced degrees earn 70% of what white men with advanced degrees earn,” stated Jones.

“This is a big problem, but we actually know how to fix it,” said Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.

The federal investment strategy includes two major aspects of the gender wage gap: salary history and occupational segregation.

“In 2019, this is even before the impact of the pandemic, Black women faced a $39.3 billion loss, Hispanic women faced a $46.7

billion loss just because of the jobs they were concentrated in,” said Chun-Hoon.

The goal, according to Chun-Hoon, is to make investments in occupations often filled by women — such as education and health care.

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February 11, 2022 by  
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Dr. Letitia Wright 2021
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December 30, 2021 by  
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Gail Cordelia Berkley-Armstrong Works For Black Press For Over 48 Years
By Evan Carlton Ward | Sun-Reporter

Gail Cordelia Berkley-Armstrong, legendary awarding-winning Bay Area journalist and Sun-Reporter Editor, has died after a lengthy illness. She was 74.

The veteran journalist was committed to the mission of the Black Press of America – “Too long have others spoken for us…we wish to plead our own cause.”

“I truly enjoy my work at the Sun-Reporter, helping to be sure the news and information important to the African American community is available to our readers each week,” she said. “It is critical that the voices, perspectives and opinions of our community, the leaders and citizens working for change have an outlet in the Bay Area. It is equally important to highlight the milestones and contributions of those too often left unrecognized in other media.”

Sun-Reporter Publisher and friend Amelia Ashley-Ward called Berkley-Armstrong a quiet genius, a loyal and faithful community servant and an exceptional writer. “Bringing Gail aboard as Editor in 2005 was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. She was my rock and trusted sister friend. She was the best of Everything. I am totally lost without her. In grateful appreciation of her remarkable life and service, I will continue the struggle.”

Prior to joining the staff at the Sun-Reporter Publishing Company, Berkley-Armstrong was the longtime Executive Editor and Assistant to the Publisher of the Post Newspaper Group in Oakland. The Post Newspaper Group was founded by her late father – Attorney Thomas L. Berkley.

She was also committed to giving her time and talent to community organizations and served as President of the African Sister City Cultural Center, Inc. As President, she led the non-profit organization in its mission to support the City of Oakland’s Sister City relationship with the twin cities Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana.
East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee remembered her longtime friend.

“My prayers and condolences go to the family and loved ones of Gail Berkley-Armstrong. Gail was an institution in Bay Area Journalism. She wrote about and lifted up the Black community for decades, including as the Editor of the Oakland Post and most recently at the Sun-Reporter.” Congresswoman Lee added, I spoke with her earlier this year on the centennial of the Tulsa massacre, and as always, her questions reflected her deep insight and her compassion for the subjects she covered. One of her many accomplishments was the sister city agreement between Oakland and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana, which helped to provide fresh water and sanitation to children there. My heart is with everyone who is mourning this loss. May she rest in peace and power.”

The Editor was also Secretary of the Board of Directors of her church, Lakeside Temple of Practical Christianity in Oakland.
Berkley-Armstrong was co-founder of Cacao Branch Children’s Hospital, Oakland. She served on several Boards of Directors of community-based organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Bay Area Urban League, Inc., Bay Area United Fund, Dimensions Dance Theater, Inc. and Black Adoption Placement and Research Center. She was a founding member of New California Media (now New America Media). She also was a member of the Patrons of the Arts and Humanities of the Bay Area, The African American and Library Coalition, and the Oakland Museum Cultural and Ethnic Affairs Guild’s Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Committee.

The community servant also served as a Public Relations and Marketing Consultant and Editor for private clients.
Berkley-Armstrong has received many awards for her community work over the years. She received the Pioneer Award from New America Media, and recognition for community service by: State of California Legislature, City and County of San Francisco, Alameda County, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Allen Temple Baptist Church, East Bay Women’s Political Action Committee, Ebony Museum of California, Today’s Women, Inc., College Bounders Committee and the East Bay Area Club of the National Council of Negro Women.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. said after hearing of Berkley-Armstrong’s passing, “In the more than five decades of being written about in the press, nobody covered me more actively and objectively. Gail will be greatly missed.”
As a child, she was exposed to the diversity of cultures within the Bay Area and beyond by her mother – the late Etta Jordan Hill, an educator and artist.

“Both of my parents were trailblazers and courageous individuals who did not take ‘no’ for an answer. They were both role models for me. They taught by example how to meet challenges, and my mother made sure that my two sisters and I knew the importance of belief and faith in God,” Berkley-Armstrong stated.

She loved traveling and meeting people of other cultures and nations. She toured Europe, Ghana, South America, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and other Caribbean nations. The journalist also visited the Ivory Coast, Malaysia, the Fiji Islands and Morocco.
Gail Cordelia Berkley-Armstrong was born January 5, 1947 in Berkeley, California. She attended Berkeley public schools and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She passed away peacefully in Oakland on December 26, 2021, surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband, Ray Armstrong, sisters Theon C. King, Miriam Rhea Berkley, a host of other relatives, her Sun-Reporter Family and a grateful community.
A Memorial service is pending.

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