A Miami Model for Supporting Black Girls

It’s no secret that in far too many communities across the country, the lives of Black girls STILL don’t matter. School and community investments fail to address the unique challenges Black girls face due to their race, gender and sexual identity. In many ways, Miami, Florida is no different.

In Miami-Dade County, Black girls face harsher discipline in school and in the juvenile justice system. Their criminalization, trauma, and mental health needs are consistently erased from public discourses on education and mass incarceration. Too often, they lack access to critical sexual and mental health supports, especially if they are gender non-conforming or identify as LGBTQIA.

In Miami, Florida, the Black Girls Matter Coalition resolved to change this by supporting the leadership of girls of color.

Over the course of one year, the Power U Center for Social Change, Dream Defenders, S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective and the Miami Workers Center, developed and implemented workshop circles that educated girls of color on systems of oppression and helped them develop personal narratives through different art mediums.  Along the way, the girls developed their own policy platforms to enact change in their schools and communities.

         

The result? A beautiful Leadership Summit where Black girls shared their experiences and presented their visions for change to education and community leaders.

The event, complete with art mini-exhibits, theater, dance performances and a restorative justice circle, shows what can happen when the voices of Black girls are centered in our work, especially in ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

Advancement Project was honored to provide strategic communications support and assistance in developing the workshop circles curriculum around reproductive and racial justice.

When the lives and success of Black girls matter, we all win.

We build more power and our solutions to intersectional challenges faced by communities of color become richer and more thoughtful.

In case you missed the Black Girls Matter MIA Leadership Summit earlier this month, relive the event by exploring press coverage and our digital media summary. Learn more about the Coalition’s political education and leadership development model on their new website. Make sure to download the Summit’s booklet, written and produced by Advancement Project.

Black girls DO matter. Their education, health, and support impacts us all.