NBC News: First-ever forum on women of color for presidential contenders

WASHINGTON — A new progressive group is hosting what it's calling the first-ever presidential candidate forum focused on women of color.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro have claimed the first of eight available spots in the April 24 forum hosted by She the People, officials told NBC News. All candidates have been invited to the event at Texas Southern University, a historically black school in Houston. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the most prominent woman of color in the 2020 field, has not yet told organizers whether she will attend.

"This forum will allow candidates to speak directly to one of the largest Democratic voting blocs — and most reliably Democratic — in the country ahead of a contentious primary," said She the People founder Aimee Allison.

She the People formed last year to give voice to women of color, many of whom feel taken for granted by the Democratic Party since they are underrepresented as candidates for office and in positions of power, even though they are among its most loyal supporters.

"No Democrat is winning the nomination, or the White House, without women of color," Allison said.

The candidates will take questions from an expected audience of more than 1,000 women of color.

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