At GrassROOTS, we train young black girls to use their skills and talents to make a difference in the world. Leadership training begins in the first grade and extends through high school. By the time our girls are in sixth grade, we begin assessing their capacity to share what they have been taught in our leadership development programs. Social action projects is our primary mechanism for evaluating their leadership competencies.
More specifically, we use social action projects to evaluate girls’ leadership abilities to:
- initiate ideas
- galvanize peers
- garner community support
- execute a project
All middle school aged SuperGirls who are participants in SuperGirls Society must develop and complete a social action project. A successful project demands that girls use their skills, talents and passions to address a core social issue they identify in their community.
SuperGirl Marley Dias’ #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign was the first social action project.
Social action projects thus far includes:
- Marley Dias’ #1000BlackGirlBooks: initiative aimed at collecting and donating 1000 books where black girls are the main character
- Amina Anekwe’s #MathWizGames: STEM-based games aimed at improving girls’ confidence in mathematics
- Crynthia Anderson’s #RoomForChange: a room renovation project for unaccompanied minors living at the Newark YMCA
- Tori Fergus’ #FullCourtDress: charity basketball game to collect winter coats for youth in Newark
- Huntar Hayes’ #Food4Life Summit: a program aimed at educating youth and adults about healthy eating
In 2019, SuperGirls will complete two more projects:
Ariyan Wint’s #ZenZone: a wellness go-box for youth coping with chronic pain. Diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at age of 5, SuperGirl Ariyan has maintained a jovial spirit despite her invisible pain. For her social action project Ariyan is raising awareness of chronic illness. She created the ZenZone: a go-box to provide comfort to youth coping with chronic pain. On Sunday, June 2nd at the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to a Cure in South Mountain Reservation, West Orange, NJ, Ariyan will distribute 100 zen boxes. This event is the largest gathering of the arthritis community in the world, raising funds for resources and research, to find better treatments and a cure. Please stop by the Warrior Booth to meet Ariyan and/or considering joining her team. Click here for event details.
Olivia Raymond’s #WhatOrphansWant: a benefit concert that raises funds to grant wishes to orphan youth.In June Olivia Raymond will launch #WOW: What Orphans Want–a benefit concert that raises funds to grant wishes to orphan youth. To support Olivia’s social action, please use: http://bit.ly/WhatOrphansWant
As an organization, we have also decided to engage in a series of social justice initiatives across the globe:
GrassROOTS’ #EndPeriodPoverty: providing access and resources to poor girls at home and abroad who cannot afford period products.
Girls in poverty will miss almost one third of a school year, simply because they are a girl. Thirty-seven states tax girls and women for period products.
As early as age 9, the majority of girls will begin menstruation. This launch into womanhood constitutes many changes to their lives. For girls with meager and limited resources menstruation introduces new and more stressful financial burdens. The consequences of which can impede their educational achievements. The effects are compounded for those who experience financial distress.
Girls who live in poverty often do not have the funds to buy sanitary napkins. As such many will miss up to one week of school per month—a total of 3 months per school year because of their periods. These are often the same girls who are eligible for free and reduced lunches. Therefore, many girls will stay home hungry and in pain.
GrassROOTS has taken a global approach to this issue. We are collecting and donating supplies to the following communities: Newark, Jamaica, Haiti, and Ghana.
Join GrassROOTS’ Annual SuperGirls Society Scholarship Drive to support our work of training black girl leaders in New Jersey & Philadelphia. Your generous donations make this work possible. Thank you for investing in the leaders of tomorrow TODAY!