Quality Education: Africans Are Among the Best Educated US Immigrants, Study Finds #education #globalgoals

af

African Graduates

By Salem Solomon

WASHINGTON — When you picture an African immigrant in the United States, do you imagine someone with little or no schooling, struggling to find work? New research shows a different reality: African immigrants in the United States are college-educated and employed at about the same rates as the general population, and far more likely to be educated and working than their counterparts in Europe.

The report, by the Pew Research Center, found 69 percent of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States have some college education. That number is six percentage points higher than the level for native-born Americans, and far higher than levels in Europe.

In Britain, about half of sub-Saharan African immigrants have some college education. In France, the number is 30 percent. In Italy it is only 10 percent.

The Pew study, based on 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Eurostat’s Labor Force Survey, also found about 93 percent of African immigrants in the United States were employed, whereas in Europe employment figures ranged from 80 percent in Italy to 92 percent in the U.K. These numbers were roughly equal to the general population in each country.

Monica Anderson is a research associate at Pew and a co-author of the report. The research team wanted to compare demographics of African immigrants in the United States to their counterparts in Europe, Anderson told VOA by phone.

“What we found is that the sub-Saharan African immigrant population [in the U.S.] really stands out and that they are a very highly educated group,” Anderson said.

“The majority of sub-Saharan African immigrants in all of these countries that we looked at are employed, and when you look at their employment compared to those who were actually — who were born in those specific countries — there’s really not a lot of difference,” she added.

MIGRATION ROUTES

In 2015, about 2.1 million African immigrants were living in the U.S., according to Pew. That number has more than doubled since 2000.

They came to the United States in different ways – to study, for employment opportunities, and through family reunification programs, the latter denounced by President Donald Trump as “chain migration.”

Some Africans come to the United States as refugees and asylum seekers. In 2016, about 31,000 Africans were admitted into the United States as refugees, accounting for 37 percent of all admissions. About 19 percent of admissions came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where conflict has displaced nearly two million people in the past 18 months.

Thousands more come through the State Department’s diversity visa lottery, which provides 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. In 2015, the last year for which data is available, African immigrants made up 46 percent of applicants invited to request immigrant visas.

EASE OF REACH

One explanation for the difference in education levels is that Europe is much easier to reach for low-income Africans who travel by boat or other means.

Since 2010, violence, turmoil and poverty have driven approximately 1.5 million Africans to leave the continent for the United States or Europe, and the numbers have grown each year, according to the United Nations.

Hundreds of thousands have risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea on rickety boats, hoping to make it to Italy or Greece.

In contrast, Africans coming to America often have the money to travel by plane, and the permission to enter the country once they arrive.

“It is also about proximity, and I think there are other studies and literature out there about how proximity might impact the kind of characteristics that different groups might have when they’re migrating,” Anderson said. “So those who have a lower socioeconomic status may not have the capabilities or have the resources to move to a distant country.”

BETTER OFF?

Higher education and employment levels don’t necessarily translate into a higher quality of life for African immigrants in the United States, based on previous research by Pew.

Despite high education and employment rates, black immigrants — including those from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America — have a median household income that’s about $8,200 lower than the U.S. average, Pew researchers found.

Forty percent of black immigrants are homeowners, 24 percent less than the overall U.S. population, and 20 percent of black immigrants live below the poverty line, compared to 16 percent of the overall U.S. population.

These numbers suggest that, despite relatively high education and employment rates, African immigrants face challenges getting access to all the opportunities that other groups enjoy.

 

Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions: This Is What You Should Do if You See Someone Being Sexually Harassed #sdgs #globalgoals

har

Simple steps can help derail an incident.

We know that the only people who can really stop sexual harassment happening are the people actually harrassing others. But experts say we can all play a role in lessening the emotional impact on those who are targeted.

One factor that made the case of Hollywood produce Harvey Weinstein — which sparked the #MeToo movement last year — so shocking, is that so many people knew about the assaults and harassment, and did nothing.

It’s known as the “ bystander effect ” or “bystander apathy,” and it describes the social phenomenon of being being less likely to help a victim when there are a lot of other people around.

There are lots of reasons bystanders might choose to ignore a situation — because you don’t feel empowered to do something, you don’t know what to say or do to resolve a situation, or because you don’t want to seem patronising or like you’re shoving your nose into something that isn’t your business.

But, in reality, the most important thing is making sure the victim knows that they aren’t alone.

So, whether you witness someone being sexually harassed in the street, at work, on the bus, wherever, what can you to help?

1. Assess the situation

Before you do anything, you need to work out exactly what the situation is and how best you can intervene. It’s very important that you don’t put yourself in harm’s way, as it could cause the situation to escalate.

Ask yourself are you safe? Is the person being harassed at threat of physical harm? Will intervening directly make things worse? Are there other people around who can support you?

2. Direct intervention

If you think it’s safe to do so, you can intervene in the harassment directly. That means directly addressing the person who’s doing the harassing. It’s key to be firm , don’t apologise for interrupting their behaviour.

According to Hollaback! , a global movement to end harassment, it’s important to stick to saying something that feels natural to you.

Some example are: “That’s harassment,” or “don’t talk to them like that,” or “that’s inappropriate.” What you say doesn’t have to be smart or witty, it only needs to make the person aware that what they’re doing is wrong.

If the harasser responds, says Hollaback , don’t engage in an argument. Instead, interact with the person who is being harassed.

3. Distraction

If you would rather not interact with the harasser, or it feels as though the situation would escalate if you did, creating a distraction can also help put a stop to the incident, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).

You do that by engaging with the person who is being harassed, not by talking about the harassment, but by talking about something completely unrelated.

You could pretend to be lost, ask the time, greet them like you know them and invite them to walk with you or get a drink. It can be good to insert yourself between the harasser and their target, to literally get in the way — although, again, only do this if you’re not putting yourself at risk too.

4. Find someone to support you 

If you don’t want to get personally involved, you could still help by finding someone of authority who can resolve the situation, adds RAINN. Who that person is would differ depending on where you are, but some examples could include a bus driver, a teacher, a shop manager, a bouncer, or a security guard.

5. Check in with the person who’s been harassed

Sometimes harassment can happen very quickly, and be over in an instant. For example, if someone shouts something from the window of a passing car. If that happens, you can still help support the person who has been harassed , by checking in with them to see if they’re okay. Ask if they’re alright, if you can help them. You could offer to sit with them, or walk with them to where they’re going if they’re upset.

6. Document the incident

If someone has already stepped in and you don’t want to overcrowd the incident, you could still help by documenting it. This of course depends on your own safety, and it’s sensible to keep your distance if you’re filming on your phone, for example.

Sometimes just knowing that they’re being caught on camera is enough to diffuse a situation, particularly in our social media world. But having the incident on camera can also help if the person who’s been harassed wants to report it.

It can help authorities follow up on an incident if you also film nearby landmarks, and state the time and date of the incident on film, says Hollaback .

But once the incident is over it’s important that you ask the person who was harassed what they want you to do with the footage, and you shouldn’t post it online without their permission — or you could make the incident even more emotionally difficult for them that it already was.

Reduced Inequalities: 160 Babies, Children Rescued in Latest Nigerian ‘Baby Factory’ Raid #sdgs #globalgoals

The victims have all been relocated to government-approved homes.

bf

More than 160 children were rescued from a Nigerian “baby factory” and two illegal orphanages this week, according to a report by the BBC. It was one of the largest raids in recent history.

“The children and teenagers rescued from the baby factory were placed at Government Approved Homes for Care and Protection,” the Lagos State government said in a statement.

But the war on human trafficking is far from being won.

Baby factories are a recurring problem in Nigeria, where it is not uncommon for unmarried pregnant women to be lured to a location with the promise of healthcare only to be imprisoned and have their baby stolen. In other instances, women are kidnapped, raped, and forced to become pregnant.

The children are then “sold for adoption, used for child labour, trafficked to Europe for prostitution or killed for ritual purposes,” according to the BBC report.

Some of the babies and children rescued had been sexually abused, said Agboola Dabiri, the Commissioner for Youths and Social Development in Lagos State, in a statement.

The Commissioner also noted that of the 163 children rescued in total, 100 were girls and 62 were boys.

More than 4.8 million people worldwide are victims of forced sexual exploitation, or sex trafficking, according to the International Labour Organization. It’s also estimated that one in three trafficking victims are children below the age of 18.

Women & Girls: This Map Shows You Where Women Are Being Harassed in Real Time #abuse #sdgs

map

“Free to Be” map allows women and girls to anonymously share experiences.

By Joanna Prisco

When a woman or young girl is harassed in public, there have historically been few resources for one to share the experience with local officials or warn others.

Until now.

A new real-time mapping tool called Free to Be has launched in Sydney, New Delhi, Kampala, Lima, and Madrid, that allows users to anonymously drop a pin in locations where they feel unsafe or have been threatened.

Free To Be is a crowd-mapping website that enables young women to identify and share public spaces that make them feel uneasy, scared or happy and safe,” the site reads. “It empowers young women to call out unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where change needs to occur.”

The site was was designed by Plan International in collaboration with CrowdSpot, Monash University’s XYX Lab “and, crucially, young women.”

Prior to launching the tool, Plan International, an NGO that advocates for children’s rights and equality for girls, conducted a survey of 400 young women on their experiences in the Australian capital.

Embed from Getty Images

“We’ve found 90% of girls in Sydney are feeling unsafe being in their city at night,” said Plan’s head of advocacy, Hayley Cull, in an interview with ABC Australia.

“That’s an extraordinary statistic.”

Meanwhile, “92% felt uncomfortable taking public transport alone at night, and nearly half had experienced street harassment,” reported Business Insider Australia.

The Free to Be maps are already being populated with identified “Good Spots” and “Bad Spots” by users whose experiences have ranged from cat calls to random gropings to one woman being followed and harassed by a stranger on a bike.

The goal is for the accumulated data to eventually be shared with local officials to affect change.

“In Melbourne, more than 10,000 people visited the website, with thousands dropping a pin – happy or sad – on places they loved, avoided, felt safe or unsafe in,” states the Free to Be site.

Embed from Getty Images

“Once the map closed, we presented data to key decision-makers including the City of Melbourne, Victoria Police, Metro and Public Transport Victoria. Plan International’s Youth Activists have been working closely with these organisations to make change and we’ve had some amazing responses.”

Quality Education: Beyoncé Is Funding 4 Scholarships to Historically Black Universities and Colleges #sdgs #globalgoals #2030now

yonce

The scholarship totals $100,000 across four schools.

Less than 48 hours after putting on a show for the history books, acclaimed singer and Global Citizen Beyoncé wasn’t done changing the world.

She was just getting started.

Yesterday, “Queen Bey” announced a program to fund $100,000 worth of academic scholarships to help students attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through her BEYGood Initiative.

The Homecoming Scholars Award Program will be available to students at four HBCUs: Xavier University of Louisiana, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University, and Bethune-Cookman University.

Students from various fields — including literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering — are invited to apply, according to a press release.

“We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Ivy McGregor, director of philanthropy and corporate relations at Parkwood Entertainment, of which BeyGOOD is a part, said in a statement. “We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”

This is not the first time Beyoncé has supported higher education in a big way. Last April, Beyoncé started the Formation Scholars program on the one year anniversary of the release of her award-winning album “Lemonade.”

The scholarship helped send four talented students to Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College — two of which are HBCUs.

Reduced Inequalities: Meghan & Harry’s Wedding Will Help Tackle Period Taboo, Homelessness, and HIV #sdgs #2030now #globalgoals

mh

The royal couple are asking for donations in their name as wedding gifts.

Isn’t it the worst when, with a month to go before a wedding, you realise you haven’t got the happy couple a gift yet?

Luckily, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have found a great solution for anyone struggling to come up with gift ideas.

And it doesn’t involve a last-minute dash to get a gravy boat, either.

The royal couple are asking for donations to seven different charities to be made in their name, for “anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding” on May 19, according to Kensington Palace.

“The couple have personally chosen seven charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV, and the armed forces,” said the palace in a tweet.

“Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work,” it added.

One on the list is an Indian charity, the Myna Mahila Foundation , which works in Mumbai’s slums to combat period stigma and to empower women. It works to educate women and girls about menstrual hygiene, provides low-cost sanitary products, and also provides women with stable employment.

Markle visited the organisation’s offices in January last year, on a trip that inspired an article published in “Time” about stripping away taboos around periods.

Another charity on the list is UK homelessness organisation Crisis , which is particularly pertinent following the uproar around the treatment of homeless people in Windsor in the run-up to the wedding.

In preparation for the wedding and the expected influx of tourists, council leader Simon Dudley released a letter directed to the commissioner of the Thames Police, asking for action to be taken to stop “aggressive begging and intimidation in Windsor.”

“It is becoming increasingly concerning to see the quantities of bags and detritus that those begging are accumulating and leaving on our pavements,” he wrote . “The whole situation also presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light.”

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, said they are “hugely grateful” to the royal couple.

“Homelessness is one of the most urgent issues of our time, but at Crisis we know what it takes to end it,” he said .

He added: “Donations will help us to support more people to leave homelessness behind through our housing, employment, education, and advice services across the country, and to campaign for the changes needed to solve the homelessness crisis once and for all.”

Other organisations on the list are Chiva , which supports children diagnosed with HIV, an issue that Harry’s mother Princess Diana campaigned fiercely on; StreetGames , a children’s sports charity; the Wilderness Foundation , which works to preserve the great outdoors and enable young people to access it; and Scotty’s Little Soldiers , which helps children who’ve lost a parent in the military.

Also on the list is marine conservation organisation Surfers Against Sewage , which recently called on the UK government to eliminate single-use plastics after research showed more than 2 million “avoidable” plastic items were bought by the British parliament in 2017. 

Reduced Inequalities: The 9 Warning Signs That Modern Slaves Are Hidden in ‘Plain Sight’ #modernslavery #sdgs #globalgoals #2030now #slave

ms2

Members of the public can play a vital role in the fight against servitude and forced labour.

Members of the public could be “unwittingly” hiring the victims of modern slavery who are hidden in “plain sight” across the world.

Victims of forced servitude and labour could be washing your car, serving your meals, working in the hotels where you stay, painting your nails, and even working in your home.

But there are series of signs to watch out for, released by Crimestoppers UK , that could help officials in the fight against modern slavery.

“Being forced into domestic servitude, being trafficked for work, or subject to exploitation is a horrendous fate, and one most of us can’t even imagine — but the sad truth is that there is a good chance that modern slavery is taking place in the towns, cities, and villages where we live,” Simon Blackburn, of the UK’s Local Government Association, told the BBC .

But most householders are “unaware of the hell” victims were living through, he warned, saying that many victims are hidden in “plain sight.”

Across England and Wales, local councils are stepping up efforts to tackle modern slavery, following a rise in the numbers of victims the are reporting.

The number of cases reported to law enforcement by local authorities rose by nearly 50% in just a year in Britain — up to 1,322 cases reported between July and September 2017.

In the US, according to a report released last year by Polaris, an organisation that fights human trafficking and helps survivors, modern slavery is a problem in restaurants, bars, and food trucks, as well as nail salons, hotel work, and domestic service.

The report was described as a “major breakthrough in the field,” by Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

It’s the largest data set on human trafficking in the US ever compiled and publicly analysed — including over 32,000 reports of human trafficking, and over 10,000 reports of labour exploitation.

According to the report, which was based on calls to the organisation’s hotline, people from places Vietnam, China, Mexico, and Guatemala, lured by promises of a better live, were instead being trapped in forced labour conditions.

Of the more than 1,700 cases involving the US restaurant industry, nearly 20% involved children.

Traffickers often exploit language barriers, according to the report, and those who try to escape may be threatened with deportation, or violence against themselves or their families.

But members of the public can play a vital role in the fight.

Signs to look out for, according to Crimestoppers UK , are: 

  • Appearing scared, avoiding eye contact, or being untrusting.
  • Showing signs of injury, abuse, and malnourishment.
  • The person may look unkempt, often in the same clothing and have poor hygiene.
  • They may be under the control and influence of others.
  • Living in cramped, dirty, and overcrowded accommodation.
  • Lacking appropriate clothing or safety equipment for the work they are doing.
  • They may have no access to identification, like a passport or driving licence.
  • The person may be collected very early, or returned late at night, on a regular basis.
  • They may be isolated from the local community and their family.

The UK government estimates there are between 10,000 and 13,000 potential modern slavery victims in the UK. But that figure has been described by anti-slavery commissioner Kevin Hyland as “far too modest”

Reduced Inequalities: More People Than Ever Before Are at Risk From #Slavery in the UK #sdgs #globalgoals #2030now #modernslavery

ms

Some 45 million people are trapped in modern slavery around the world. From forced labour and child slavery, to women and girls forced into prostitution or marriage, these people are living in abhorrent conditions.

And it’s happening in the UK too. In 2017, a total of 5,145 potential victims of modern slavery  were recorded in this country — up 35% from the year before.

Victims of human trafficking could be washing your car, working in hotels where you stay, painting your nails, and all hidden in plain sight.

Within the UK last year, potential victims of trafficking were identified from 116 different nationalities, according to the National Crime Agency, including Romania, Sudan, India, and Poland.

But of all of these, British nationals were the most commonly reported potential victims, with 819 identified in 2017. Albanians were identified in 777 cases, and Vietnamese in 739.

Despite the scale of human suffering, our laws are ill-equipped to deal with the problem.

In England and Wales, victims of modern slavery are guaranteed just 45 days of support. Support for victims at present is limited to the time when they are being identified — which should take 45 days. In practice, delays in decision-making about whether or not someone has been trafficked can take longer.

The government has promised to increase this to 90 days guaranteed support for people who are confirmed as having been trafficked, but we believe this is still not long enough.

People who escape modern slavery have suffered the most horrific violations of their human rights. If and when they escape, they need proper support to rebuild their lives or they are at risk of becoming homeless and vulnerable to being re-trafficked.

Right now, a bill is going through parliament to try and make this support happen.

If passed, the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill, introduced by Lord McColl of Dulwich, would require the government to provide a year of guaranteed support to victims.

That would include a safe place to stay, access to medical treatment, mental health support, legal advice, training, education, and support as they figure out the next steps in rebuilding their lives.

But this potentially life-saving bill will only pass if enough MPs vote for it.

Partnerships For the Goals: Gates, Jolie, the Obamas: These Are the Most Admired People of 2018 #sdgs #2030now #globalgoals

ad

Gates and Jolie beat out former presidents, royals and Oprah to claim the top spots.

YouGov recently released their annual study highlighting public figures people look up to the most. The list includes celebrities, activists as well as former and current world leaders.

The survey queried 37,000 people from more than 35 countries to determine who are the women and men our world hails as most admirable.

Entertainers rounded out most of the top 20 for women, while businessmen, politicians and athletes dominated the top 20 for men. Many of these men and women work to tackle global issues and have left a lasting impact on the world.

The World’s Most Admired Women

Angelina Jolie

Angelina-Jolie.jpgAngelina Jolie poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Film Awards, in London, Feb. 18, 2018.
Image: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

While famous for her work as an actress, Jolie has also committed her life to humanitarian efforts. As a Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, she focuses on preventing and punishing sexual violence.

Michelle Obama

michelle obama ap .jpgImage: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The former first lady’s transformative work includes the launch of Let Girls Learn , an initiative that helps educate girls around the world.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah-Golden-Globes-MeToo.jpgImage: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/AP

Aside from being a general beacon for empowerment of everyone, everywhere, Oprah stole the show at the Golden Globes with her powerful speech on the #MeToo movement.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen-Elizabeth-Social-Share.jpgBritain’s Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd in Ascot, England, June 22, 2017.
Image: Alastair Grant/AP

The Queen recently waged a war on plastic in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of royal households.

Hillary Clinton

clinton dnc victory ap.jpgImage: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

As a former secretary of state and presidential candidate, Clinton has spent her life breaking glass ceilings and advocating for the rights of women both domestically and abroad.

Emma Watson

emma watson UN Women malawi.jpgUN Women/Karin Schermbrucker
Image: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker

Watson is a dedicated advocate for the UN’s HeforShe campaign working to promote gender equality.

Malala Yousafazi

2017-Women-Malala.jpgImage: Mark Garten/UN Photo

As the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala is staunch advocate of education as a basic human right and uses her own organization and voice to empower girls around the world.

Read More: 15 Times That Malala Nailed It

Priyanka Chopra

GCF17_PriyankaChopra_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen102.jpgImage: Daniel Dorsa 

Chopra advocates for girls’ causes and education as an ambassador for both Girls Up and Girls Rising and through her own foundation.

Madonna

madonna-woman-of-the-year (1).jpgImage: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

When not pushing musical boundaries, pop icon Madonna works to end extreme poverty among orphans in Malawi.

Gal Gadot

gal gadotImage: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

Gal Gadot is a Wonder Woman both on and off screen: She uses her platform to raise funds to build schools and take a stance on the importance of education.

Angela Merkel

Angela MerkelImage: Michaela Rehle/Pool Photo via AP

Merkel made headlines with her open door refugee policy that took in millions fleeing conflict in the Middle East.

The World’s Most Admired Men

Bill Gates

AP_17128846109365_Bill_Gates_AP Photo_Nati Harnik.jpgImage: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

As the founder of both Microsoft and the world’s largest private charity, Gates promotes global development and tackles issues in health and education.

Barack Obama

Barack_Obama_Birthday_FINALS_011.jpgImage: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Having ranked first in 19 of the countries surveyed, the former president continues his legacy as a leader of global change

Jackie Chan

J-C-jackie-chan-18739719-1280-960.jpg

Considered one of Asia’s premier philanthropists, Chan has founded multiple charities focused on expanding educational opportunities for children.

Dalai Lama

DalaiLama WikiCommons.jpgImage: Yancho Sabev / Wikimedia Commons

The spiritual leader and activist is renowned for his peaceful approaches to global relations and attempts to end human rights violations.

Warren Buffet

Warren BuffettImage: Fortune Live Media / Flickr

While he donates billions to charity, philanthropist Warren Buffet also uses his status to advocate for ending global poverty.

David Beckham

david-beckham-coiffed-hairstyles-for-men.jpg

Michael Jordan

mj

Jordan actively contributes to charities that target and help at-risk youth.

Pope Francis

Pope-Francis.jpgPope Francis waves as he leaves the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles after a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns, in Lima, Peru, Jan. 21, 2018.
Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP

Pope Francis has brought ending poverty and eradicating injustices to the forefront of his mission as head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City.

Lionel Messi

lm.jpg

Messi’s charitable work includes building classrooms in Syria so more than 1,600 displaced children can return to school.

Imran Khan

The Pakistani politician’s foundation works to engage and mobilize local communities through better access to basic services.

Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at ratification of Paris Agreement on Climate Change with the UNImage: AP Photo/Manish Swarup

Modi has made humanitarian efforts central to his role as Prime Minister of India by making improvements to health and education a priority.

Women & Girls: This Woman Was Just Nominated to Be the First Black Woman Brigadier General Ever #sdgs #globalgoals #2030Now

dada

Marine Corps Colonel Lorna M. Mahlock is quickly rising in the ranks.

Representation matters. Whether it’s in politics, art, or, yes, war, leaders must be chosen to represent the people they serve.

But in the United States armed forces, this is all too often not the case. Despite changing demographics, active duty members of the armed forces continue to be made up disproportionately of men, and specifically white men.

That’s why the nomination of Marine Corps Col. Lorna M. Mahlock — a black woman — to the rank of brigadier general is so important.

If confirmed, Mahlock will be the first woman of color to serve in this post, according to ABC News.

Other than its historical significance, the nomination, made by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, also highlights the progress made on increasing diversity in the Marine Corps after it launched a campaign in 2011 calling for better representation of women and minorities.

Of the four major branches of the US armed forces, the Marines still have the lowest proportion of women, comprising just 6.8% of active members.

But that may be shifting with Mahlock’s nomination to one of the highest organizational ranks.

Her nomination was met with support online.

“RAH!!! I am SO VERY PROUD!” Anthony D. Turner wrote in a tweet. “Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis credit on this one!”

“Col. Lorna M. Mahlock’s qualifications for the job matter more than her race, but these milestones are worth celebrating and represent a win for women, our country, and any individual who faces tremendous odds but refuses to stay an underdog,” another Twitter user, S. Gillums Jr., wrote.