During Black History Month, we celebrate Black Girl Freedom Week to co-create a world where Black girls are safe, free, and joyfully thriving.
During Black History Month, and Black Girl Freedom Week, we are focused on celebrating Black girls, their dreams, their power and leadership to co-create a world where they are safe, free, and joyfully thriving. Above, performers from the Truthworker Theatre Company. (Photo credit: G4GC Convening).
At Grantmakers for Girls of Color, our work is about shaping a better future. Collectively, we are building toward a tomorrow where girls and gender-expansive youth of color can thrive, and where their voices, ideas, and leadership deliver freedom and liberation for all of us. And next week we invite you to join us during Black Girl Freedom Week, for virtual programming and conversations that dedicate time and place to nourish and foster community and belonging for Black girls, and to celebrate the futures that are possible when Black girls and gender-expansive youth are invested in robustly and abundantly.
In the spirit of Sankofa, which teaches us to understand our past and our roots so we can ensure our future, we acknowledge the importance of learning and knowing where we have been. During this Black History Month and beyond, let’s remind ourselves and others of our histories, and recommit ourselves to pushing forward until a more just future is our reality.
So much of what we are fighting against today has its echoes in the deep vestiges of racism and inequality embedded in our nation’s history. Take for example the outrageous acts of state violence inflicted against Black girls in just the last few weeks. Police officers pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old Black girl in Rochester, N.Y. while she was experiencing a mental health crisis and calling out for her parent. In Florida, a school resource officer slammed a 16-year-old Black girl to the ground, knocked her unconscious, and handcuffed her. These acts may seem isolated, but they are steeped in racialized, gender-based violence harkening back to a long history of schools as spaces where Black girls experience harm, rather than safety and healing.
We can also learn and draw inspiration from the stories of the freedom fighters who led the way for us. Combatting the erasure of Black girls’ experiences and resistance in larger dialogues about civil and human rights and justice is critical. When Ruby Bridges integrated her elementary school in Louisiana in 1960, she was met with disdain and threatened with physical harm. Linda Brown was in third grade when she became the center of the seminal Brown v. Board of Education case. Their sacrifices and their courage invited this nation to evaluate the role of educational institutions in facilitating a more just democracy.
At Grantmakers for Girls of Color, we are determined to shine a light on the histories and stories that too often are forgotten or go untold—in particular, the stories of Black girls and young women who live at the intersection of sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression. We are also committed to doing all we can to mobilize the investments and will needed so Black girls—and all girls and gender-expansive youth of color—can have joy and can be safe and protected.
To that end, we invite you to join us as we celebrate our first Black Girl Freedom Week, to be held February 14th-20th. Hosted by the partners of the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign and G4GC’s largest initiative, the Black Girl Freedom Fund, this will be a week of celebration and action with and for Black and gender-expansive girls, and an opportunity to mobilize support for the abundant futures and joy they deserve. Some of our special guests include 14-year-old student activist Naomi Wadler, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and actress/writer/producer Rashida Jones.
We also encourage you to learn about the incredible organizations we support (below), led by Black women, femmes, and girls.
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
Grantmakers for Girls of Color
Support these organizations led by Black women, femmes, and girls