Praise for Girls for a Change

7/7/2017, 1:14 p.m.

My parents raised me to be active, awake and an advocate for my community and the LGBTQ communities. After attending a recent event at the Bell Tower in Capitol Square, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak out about issues like police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline and the negative portrayal of black women in the media.

In 2016, I really began my activism journey out of despair following a summer of shootings of unarmed black men.

About a year into my search, I discovered Girls for a Change, a local nonprofit whose mission is to uplift black girls’ voices through social change innovation. GFAC has rallies, Girl Action Teams and the Black Girl Showcase.

At a Black Girl Rally, I immediately felt connected, loved and accepted. Angela Patton, CEO of Girls for a Change, believes that girls already know what we need — a platform for our voices to be heard. A feminist was growing within me.

GFAC organizes Girl Action Teams of 10 to 20 girls who find a challenge in their communities and work together to make a positive change. The Girl Action Teams then present their projects to the community at a GFAC Black Girl Showcase.

At the Black Girl Showcase, the Girl Action Teams introduce their social change projects, many of which shed light on how young black girls are affected by issues like domestic violence, child abuse and police brutality. The Girl Action Team I was on started “Black Girls Matter: Notice Us,” an online platform that educates black women and their counterparts on how they can work together to change the perception of how the world views black girls.

Our team also conceptualized an app that will bring awareness to black female victims of violence because crimes against black women and girls are underrepresented in the media. The app, which needs funding, also will serve as a supportive outlet for black girls to anonymously share issues they face in their communities.

GFAC has positively changed my life as a young black woman, an activist and now filmmaker. We need organizations like GFAC to inspire girls to be social change agents.

I admire Ms. Patton for dedicating her life to “preparing black girls for the world while preparing the world for black girls.” Because of GFAC, I am more active in my community. I am proud to be a GFAC girl ambassador.