One Million Reasons to Build
I am, because WE ARE
honoring Ubuntu to raise the roof
Thursday, February 23
Girls For A Change invites Black philanthropists to support Black girls by providing a brave space to restore, revive and thrive.
Join us in the spirit of Ubuntu. (Zulu: humanity to others)
6pm to 8pm, Doors open 5:30pm
Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia
122 West Leigh St., Richmond, VA, 23220
Cocktails & h'ors d'oeuvres
21+ Business casual event
Please bring a guest to introduce to our important work.
Black History Month is a great opportunity to reflect on and raise awareness of Black culture, heritage, contributions, and achievements and to remind each other that there’s power in community: that “I am, because we are.” During this month of focus, we are reminded that every day of the year, our society must rededicate its efforts and resources to confronting and dismantling the systems of oppression. While we have made great strides over the years, there is still much to do to achieve equity and racial justice.
At GFAC, we have been doing that work for nearly 20 years, supporting the healing, development, and outstanding accomplishments of Black girls in Central Virginia. We have been cultivating a culturally affirming Black space in North Chesterfield for Black girls to be seen, heard, and celebrated. In December, 2021, we launched our One Million Reasons to Build Capital Campaign to support the purchase, expansion, and renovation of our space. In the first phase of the campaign, we raised funds to build capacity and buy our building. As building owners, our next step is to expand and renovate the space to support our growing programmatic needs. But we need $5.5 million to do it. And we’re relying on GFAC supporters to invest in Black girls to help us get there.
Our new space is based on the concept of Sankofa, the Adrinka symbol, from the Akan tribe of Ghana, meaning “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what is a risk of being left behind.” The space references Afrocentric architectural elements such as butterfly roof lines, rammed earth, geometric patterns, and natural materials. The space celebrates the rich architectural heritage of the African continent and its diverse people, creativity, and geography.
Inspired by Afrocentric architectural elements like rammed earth walls, a butterfly roof and window shadow boxes, the building concept embodies the Adinkra symbol Sankofa. Sankofa, now a movement within the African American diaspora, embraces the idea that “it is not taboo to go back and retrieve that which has been forgotten or lost,” or in other words, remembering traditions in order to move towards the future.
Sankofa expressed in the Afrocentric building vernacular assures Black girls that they unapologetically belong, wherever they are, beginning right here in North Chesterfield. The dynamic front elevation with a concealed entrance provides a sense of safety and separation from the outside world. Inside is a sacred, safe place for Black girls to heal and grow. Interior finishes will feature African design elements like rich color, pattern and natural materials.
The rooms, named for Adinkra symbols, provide opportunities for everything from movement to the arts to tech. Designed intelligently, the new space is a sustainable space. The building construction will utilize multiple green building strategies. It will also sustain itself. Half of the building provides single event and subscription based rental passive income strategies to support building maintenance and operation.
The walls throughout will showcase acrylic GFAC logo flowers. Donors may purchase these legacy flowers, in a range of sizes, which will be engraved with their Reason To Build. These messages will affirm that Black girls are honored and supported by their community. The entire space celebrates the rich architectural heritage of the African continent and its diverse people, creativity, and geography. It will be a safe and brave space for Black girls in Central Virginia, their families and their communities.