After a year of conversations across the country to hear directly from girls of color, as well as movement leaders, organizers, and advocates of all ages, we have launched our seven-year strategy to deepen our work to support the movement for girls of color.
We engaged in conversations with powerful movement leaders who spanned generations and who work every day to address the structural inequities facing girls of color. They shared their visions to grow the movement that affirms, centers, and honors the lived experiences, hopes, dreams, and unique challenges of all the girls in their communities.
A community-based strategy
It was clear from our deep listening that a vibrant movement for girls of color already thrives. This movement is led by fearless leaders and activists, primarily women of color, often working on their own time and dime in a severely under-funded field.
These movement leaders know best how to solve the challenges that exist within their communities, so we are supporting their work by funding community-based organizations led by girls and women of color across the United States.
In addition, we are looking for regional partners to work with us on grantmaking and capacity building, starting in the Southeast. Regional partners will house efforts that direct grant making to existing organizations, seed new organizations, and eventually provide support to individuals and collectives outside of formal c3 structures. In addition to grantmaking, the regional partner will provide the healing, political education and organizing capacity needed to sustain a healthy field.
Bringing Girls of Color to the center
Girls of color live at the intersections of sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression that prevent their full participation in our future:
In the United States:
- Over 60 percent of girls of color are born to families living on low incomes or below the poverty line.
- Like all girls, they suffer sexual abuse, are sexually harassed on the street and at school, and experience dating violence. Girls of color are likely to be criminalized or ignored for the trauma they’ve experienced, rather than finding systems that provide support or protection.
- They are disproportionately in foster care, where 70 percent of girls are sexually abused.
- In school, they are two to six times more likely to be suspended than white girls, with a third to a half not graduating high school at all.
- They are the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system, where they are disproportionately punished.
These structural inequities are compounded by the injustices they’ll face as women of color, from workplace discrimination and a predominance of low-wage work to the continual presence of violence in their lives. These systemic barriers persist through their adulthood to the end of their lives – and affect the people they care for around them, including their kids:
- Almost half of single African-American and Latina mothers live in poverty, with zero median wealth. Without children, their wealth inches up only incrementally, to $100 and $120 respectively.
- Asian-American women have the highest suicide rates for women over the age of 65.
- One in three Native-American women report having been raped in her lifetime.
It’s clear that girls and young women of color are facing discrimination across economic, social, political, and cultural lines. Yet despite these enormous barriers, the movement for girls of color is vibrant and thriving, fueled by the remarkable courage, determination and resilience of the girls and women of color leading it.
Our strategy aims to elevate the unique voices of girls of color, their ideas, and their challenges. The time to support and deepen this national movement is now. Join us.