In honor of Day of The Girl, Anasa Troutman of Shelectricity and Dr. Monique Morris Executive Director from Grant Makers For Girls of Color engaged in conversation about the importance of supporting Black, Brown and Indigenous girls and the need to help build the organizational infrastructure supporting them.
Executive Director Sarah Haacke-Byrd of Women Moving Millions who moderated the conversation amongst Anasa and Monique subsequently invited the team at Shelectricity to weigh in. Zakiyyah Babatunde-Bey Program Coordinator engaged the Youth Leadership Council in their vision for girls of color.
At Shelectricity our vision is for young women and girls of color to have the tools and resources to build the world and future of their dreams. Our Youth Leadership Council (YLC) program exists to help girls develop their leadership skills and find creative solutions to simultaneously advocate for self and for community. For our recent Day of The Girl campaign we asked girls to reflect on their proudest moments from the past year in the program. The responses they gave exemplify the mission of Shelectricity and reinforce our vision of co-creating youth- led strategies for addressing inequality.
Girls reported that since joining Shelectricity they have gained in confidence as leaders and developed the skills to self advocate. Our vision for girls of color is to empower them to be the leaders and innovators of creating a better world.
“I have not only learned to stand up for myself but I have gained crucial leadership skills that help me to lead teams in school projects and in robotics competitions. I have become confident and strong. I was also able to meet and network with new girls through the shelectricity platform.
“Throughout my entire childhood, I did not advocate for myself. I let others make decisions for me, when they were mine to make. Especially during quarantine, I came to the realization that my life is in my hands. I will either prosper or fail (because of what I did or didn't do).”
As we move through social distancing and into a new area of digital activism, we are excited to bring our YLC girls onto our new online platform and put the skills they have learned in leadership, campaign building and community organizing to use. We are excited to see what these young women will create in 2021!
In a time where the inequality and injustice imposed on people of color is at the forefront of global news and consciousness, it is paramount that young women of color be ready to stand up and help rebuild a better world for themselves and future generations. Shelectricity is playing an important role in lifting up the leaders of tomorrow, who are leading their peers today - through community building, storytelling and leadership development.
In our work to support girls and our partners serving girls we urgently need to respond to the increasing demand to provide online programming as well as the capacity for community building in a world challenged by social distancing. As girls have “returned forward” and not “back to school” in a new world centered on digital acuity, we are rapidly developing digital media resources, girl centered content and materials to support our campaigns, online programming and digital networking abilities.
In 2021 we are looking forward to some inspiring collaborations with our partners in the field of youth empowerment activism at the intersection of race and gender. With the creation of our new online platform we are excited to bring on partners such as United State of Women and National Crittenton among others in order to support digital activism and community building. This is a safe space where girls from different organizations working towards a common vision can network with each other and participate in online community events.
Currently Shelectricity girls from our Youth Leadership Council are onboarding onto this platform and learning how to build digital campaigns in order to practice their advocacy and leadership skills.
In 2021 We will launch our series of “mother classes” (a working title to move beyond the language of Master) led by seasoned mentor professionals across disciplines and eventually by the girls too. We are excited to see the platform grow and to be able to support our partner organizations in their work of supporting young women’s activism.
Shelectricity is expanding its programming and reach in 2021 delving into the world of online activism and community building during COVID19 and beyond. We are constantly creating digital media resources to promote our internal events and campaigns, and to promote opportunities for leadership among YLC members. As we look forward to integrating partners into this new digital hub, we need your support to develop more resources in support of our convenings and events and to support partner organizations in promoting and hosting girl lead town halls and activation campaigns. If young women are to be the leaders of tomorrow then we urgently need to invest in their leadership development in the form of programming, content for online activations, community building and expanding programming to include entrepreneurial and technical skill building.