Show Up, TJ, and Secure the Bag


“Show Up, TJ and Secure the Bag” will Promote School Spirit, Sustainability, and Diversity in the Industry

Richmond, Virginia; Tuesday, March 28, 2023; The red carpet will roll out at Thomas Jefferson High School on Tuesday, April 18 for the kickoff of RVA Fashion Week – the first ever Fashion Show at a High School in the organization’s 15 year history. This semester, a group of girls in Girls For A Change’s Thomas Jefferson High School Girl Action Team decided to use their passion for fashion to create change. “Show Up, TJ and Secure the Bag” is a call to action to create change in the fashion industry while also showcasing the creativity that flows through Richmond Public Schools and uplifting school spirit through style. The show’s title sponsor is national lifestyle retailer DTLR.

After research, discussion, and planning, they submitted a proposal to RVA Fashion Week to host an event at their school and it was approved!

“Working with the Girls For A Change team and witnessing how they inspire, motivate and challenge their girls in this fashion industry as well as teaching them how to navigate through the necessary steps and processes has been unbelievable.  These types of stepping stones are what turn into milestones as they continue to grow and explore.  These girls are very bright and very passionate about their craft and I cannot wait to see all of their hard work come to fruition on Tuesday, April 18th at Thomas Jefferson High School!” – Jimmy Budd, Executive Producer, RVA Fashion Week

This event is the result of months of work uncovering challenges in the Fashion industry and creating a social change project to bring about awareness, introduce solutions, and inspire their peers to drive innovation with better decision-making and more opportunities in the Fashion Industry. Since November, participants have met with designers, artists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives to develop repurposed pieces as a collective project that expresses fashion as a message for social change and represents their perspectives on the intersection of fashion and culture. The team has already had a successful model call, a photoshoot and has begun creating their runway pieces. 

“As a local artist it is an honor to to work with Girls For A Change and the young ladies in our surrounding communities. I enjoy teaching them to tap into their creativity and artistry while learning new things about themselves and the world around them. These girls are bright and capable and deserve all we have to offer,” says Shawnda Harper, Owner of Nappy Nerd.

This unique Fashion Show experience will feature repurposed pieces designed by girls on the team, modeled by future fashionistas and professional models. Imagine a high fashion runway complete with red carpet, stage lights, and professional sound – at a school. In addition, there will be a panel of special guests from the industry, some of who came up through the Richmond Public School system. There will also be a Youth Creator Market will feature Girls For A Change Immersion Lab entrepreneurs as well as other local youth entrepreneurs from the community. 

The Thomas Jefferson Girl Action Team has reimagined the Fashion Show experience to bridge the gaps public schools face with community and youth engagement. 

“The young ladies at Thomas Jefferson High School who participate in the Girl Action Team with Girls For A Change are nothing short of amazing.  I have watched them grow and change positively as they have participated in the program.  I have had the pleasure of watching many of them transform from sweet little 6th graders to current 10th grade young ladies.  I am so proud of their growth and extremely happy that they have had the opportunity to work with 

Girls For A Change. I look forward to the fashion show and their opportunity to let their talent and creativity shine.” – Cherita H. Sears, Principal, Thomas Jefferson High School

Fashion Show Commentators


Show Up TJ, and Secure the Bag

Tuesday, April 18

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Thomas Jefferson High School – Front lawn 

4100 West Grace St. 

Richmond, Virginia 23230

(Rain location: Thomas Jefferson High School Auditorium)

Tickets are free, however, registration is required. There is also an option to purchase a donation ticket to help support event expenses. Sponsorships and In-Kind donations are available. There will be local food trucks on site. Details can be found here.

Thank you to our sponsor, DTLR!