Role Models

Students from the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project founded by Frederica Wilson.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson's dream has finally come true.

On Monday, President Donald Trump signed into law the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act (S.2163/H.R. 1636). This landmark legislation, introduced by Congresswoman Wilson, establishes a 19-member commission that will examine the societal disparities that disproportionately affect Black males in America. The bill was passed in the House and the Senate earlier this summer.

“I am overjoyed that this historic bill, which I have introduced each year during my tenure in Congress, is now a law. The fact that it was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president is a testament to the urgency of the need to examine and address the egregious treatment that Black men and boys in our nation have endured for generations,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “It is the most important piece of civil rights legislation that Congress has passed since the Voting Rights Act. In addition, it is the first bill passed in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the nation wide protests sparked by that tragedy.”

SEE The Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act establishes a permanent, bipartisan commission within the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Its 19 members will include congressional lawmakers, executive branch appointees, issue experts, activists and other stakeholders who will examine social disparities affecting Black men and boys in America. Based on its findings, the commission will issue policy recommendations to Congress, the White House and federal agencies.

“This was a hard-won victory, but I am now ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. This will be an all-hands-on-deck approach with support from major civil rights organizations, the NFL, My Brother’s Keeper and other groups that share this vital mission,” the Florida lawmaker added. “The senseless murders of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and too many other Black boys and men have forced our nation to look within and finally acknowledge the atrocities Black males face simply because of the color of their skin. The Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys will help reverse that trend.”

Congresswoman Wilson's inspiration for this commission was the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project, which she founded in 1993 while serving on the School Board of Miami-Dade County.