December 26th marks the first day of Kwanzaa, a seven day celebration of community, family and culture. Kwanzaa was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African roots and heritage. Each day is connected to a principle that emphasize a unique set of values and ideals. At Girls For A Change, these seven principles are baked into everything we do. As we reflect on 2021 and look towards the new year, we wanted to share some stories from the year that personify each principle.
Our Girl Ambassador Program is the epitome of today’s principle: Ujima, or collective work and responsibility. Thanks to our community, our Girl Ambassador Participants are supported in multiple ways. They learn professional skills training from the community, they intern with businesses in the community, some of them gain employment from the community, and this year, a new community of women business owners awarded two of our participants with scholarships. Each girl is able to tap into her community to ensure success.
We’re recruiting hiring partners for 2022. Join our community! Learn more here.
Building, maintaining, and supporting community businesses is what Ujamma, the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, is all about. In 2022, The Immersion Lab will help the next generation of business owners launch their businesses. Our Budding Black Entrepreneur Cohort will offer business mentorship, startup grants, and pop-up opportunities for girls to test the market. All girls who complete the program are then required to give back and support the next cohort. Applications are open now. Apply here.
Our CEO, Angela Patton, is consistent in her work and advocacy because she knows her purpose: preparing Black girls for the world, and the world for Black girls. She personifies the fifth principle of Kwanzaa, Nia (purpose), and serves as a role model for our girls. As a community, we have to work together towards the purpose of restoring our people to their greatness. One of those ways is ensuring we have a space where Black girls can develop their voice, self-confidence, and learn their purpose. Help us build and develop our community by making a donation to our 1 Million Reasons to Build campaign. Donate here.
If you’ve ever attended Camp Diva Market Day, you’ve seen the creativity that lives in our girls. Participants act as artisans and entrepreneurs as they make their own products and sell them at the market. The sixth principle of Kwanzaa, Kuumba, centers on giving back to the community by leaving it more beautiful and beneficial than inherited. Market Day allows our girls to do just that!