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May 26, 2015 2:49 EST

SOUL Sisters is a groundbreaking leadership movement that mobilizes at-risk girls of color to interrupt cycles of poverty & violence

iCrowdNewswire - May 26, 2015

Youth Leaders Board

Support 14 young women in co-creating SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective to prepare for the 2016 launch of our girls leadership program promoting healing, justice & the arts.

the project

Imagine an army of young women leaders exposing racism, sexism and homo/transphobia at every turn and organizing their communities for peace and justice. Imagine that they engage in active struggle against harsh school discipline and paint murals inspiring hearts and minds to end community violence. Imagine that they love themselves so deeply that negative media messages roll right off of them.

THESE ARE SOUL SISTERS! SOUL Sisters is a groundbreaking leadership movement that mobilizes at-risk girls of color to interrupt cycles of poverty & violence. We facilitate the empowerment of young women of color who have lived and breathed social inequality to become agents of personal and community change. Our 4-year program for truant and low-income high schoolers has four pillars: healing, leadership, social justice & the arts. Our program is multidimensional including tools from cutting-edge restorative justice, mindfulness, trauma-informed and culturally-centered approaches.

GIRLS ARE LEADERS NOW! This year, a team of fourteen powerful young women in New York City and Miami have joined the executive team to do program design, fundraising, marketing and outreach as members of our Youth Leaders Board (YLB).  Our young women are leaders NOW!  Their critical contributions to the foundational aspects of the program are key to our successful 2016 launch with 30 low-income and truant rising 9th graders.

Our YLB-Miami members are even participating in a coalition to organize a Black Girls Matter forum to grow thier community organizing skills, network with aligned organizations and develop strategic partnerships!

HOW WILL WE USE YOUR DONATION?

  • To design, craft & print original swag for fundraising (your money is doubled even tripled!);
  • To secure transportation, lodging and meals for our first 4-day overnight Youth Leaders Retreat in New York;
  • To honor board members’ contributions with stipends;
  • To obtain snacks and supplies for our monthly meetings;
  • To cover local transportation costs for youth leaders going to/from meeting and events;
  • To offer honoraria to our volunteer teaching artists and other volunteer staff.

THE OUTCOMES

  • A youth-developed youth development program designed for and by our constituents!
  • 14 young women with skills and hands-on experience in: entrepreneurship, curriculum design, program design, event planning, fundraising, video production and marketing!

 

the steps

  • Continue monthly meetings with Youth Leaders Board members in NYC and Miami.
  • Design, craft & print original swag items.
  • Attend local community events to promote SOUL Sisters, network and sell swag.
  • Select and negotiate with retreat site.
  • Prepare young women and parents for retreat.
  • Go to retreat, plan for 2016 and build sisterhood!

 

why we’re doing it

Girls of color face considerable odds in their homes, schools and communities.  They are more likely to face suspension and expulsion, arrest and sexual trauma than their white, and sometimes male, counterparts.  Moreover, they can look forward to making between 55 and 70 cents to a white man’s dollar and holding just a tiny fraction of national leadership positions as adult women.  The year 2014 sparked international debates about racial justice as the lives of countless Black men were unjustly taken and Obama launched the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. What about our girls’ lives? Where are our sisters’ keepers?

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