Fierce Boss Ladies

7 Woke Squads For Girls Of Color That Need To Be On Your Radar

Latina girls and teens have the highest rates of depression and suicide. Understanding the need for young Latinas to feel seen and affirmed, organizations have popped up across the nation in recent years to serve our girls directly – and they’re dope af.

From Los Angeles to New York, clubs, camps and nonprofits are creating spaces where Latinas and other girls of color can feel empowered, gain confidence and find their voice. They’re educating our niñas of their history, reminding them of their worth and giving them the tools to help them survive and thrive in their years ahead. And these groups aren’t doing this in a preachy, uncool kind of way. They are using technology, zines, art and new media to teach them about issues like feminism, racial justice and gentrification. The result: powerful black and brown girl armies ready to take the world by storm.

Here are some of the fiercest squads for girls of color throughout the nation.

Radical Monarchs

Years ago, Latina mom Anayvette Martinez had the brilliant idea to form a scouting group for girls of color that would help little ones navigate their identity and instill radical values of social justice and self-love. In 2014, with the help of her friend Marilyn, Radical Monarchs was born. The Oakland, Calif.-based group of black and brown girls between the ages of 8 and 12 offers an intersectional feminist twist to the Girl Scouts. The girls, for instance, earn badges for “adventures,” like attending workshops on disability justice, writing letters to transgender immigrants in detention centers, marching at Black Lives Matter protests and challenging beauty ideals.

Latinitas

Such a great time with the Latinitas at #fotos7

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Out in Texas, Latinitas is empowering girls through journalism. The nonprofit organization, with offices in Austin and El Paso, uses media and technology to strengthen young Latinas’ confidence, education and skills, enhancing their opportunities for the future. Even more, the organization provides a space for girls to discover their voice and express themselves. Latinitas has an online magazine that members, and even virtual interns from across the country, contribute to. There, they write about the issues important to them: family, school, friendships, body image, politics, social justice, art and more.

Las Fotos Project

In Los Angeles, Las Fotos Project is using cameras to bring about positive change in the lives of low-income girls of color. The after-school program offers girls between the ages of 11 and 18 free classes on how to operate a camera and learn proper photography techniques. Through these lessons and the projects they are tasked to complete, the girls also learn media literacy, problem-solving and communication skills. Even more, most of the projects, and the amazing galleries that come from them, center on social issues, like gentrification, women in the workplace, feminism, body image and more.

Smart Girl Club

SMART GIRLS IN DAZED

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Out in New York, Afro-Nuyorican rapper Princess Nokia and her homegirl Milah Libin created Smart Girl Club, a space for young urban feminists. Through social media, a podcast, zine-making and workshops, the pair offer visibility to brown and black girl power, discuss feminism, raise money to give back to the community and engage in spiritual wellness and divine healing.

HOODsisters

#transgenerational #hoodsisters818 #mural #honoringourorigins

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In Los Angeles, HOODsisters is using art to create awareness. The group of women artists also works with young Latinas, teaching them about the power of art and offering them skills on how to do it themselves. Together, members take girls out to the streets and create art together. But the pieces themselves are educational. The “hood” in HOODsisters both signals locale as well as the group’s mission: “Honoring our Origins, Ourselves, and our Dreams through public art in our communities.” And the art the women and girls produce do just that.

CODeLLA

In Miami, CODeLLA is a program teaching Latina girls from ages 8 through 12 how to code. Through an eight-week Tech Entrepreneurship + Coding Immersion Program, they teach the youth computer science, digital literacy and leadership development. Throughout it all, they are instilling young Latinas with confidence and allowing them to reimagine what smart looks like.

WriteGirl

WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization predominantly, though not exclusively, for girls of color. Through the nonprofit, girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are offered free workshops, panel discussions and special events. Even more, each youth is teamed up with a professional woman writer. Together, the girls learn the power of a pen, using it to discover their voice, address the problems taking place in their communities and explore higher education and career interests.


READ: “Some Girls” Documentary Tackles Why Depression Is Prevalent Among Latinas

Let us know about amazing organizations for young Latinas and girls of color in your city!

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When Emma Gonzalez Leads The March For Our Lives, She’ll Be Following In The Footsteps Of These Latina Civil Rights Leaders

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When Emma Gonzalez Leads The March For Our Lives, She’ll Be Following In The Footsteps Of These Latina Civil Rights Leaders

As you gear up and rally to march for our lives this weekend, you might be completely in awe of the power and effect of Emma Gonzalez. The high school student from Parkland, Fl has, along with the great efforts of her peers, rallied cities and communities across the globe to fight back against the NRA and the inaction of political leaders who have long held the power to put an end to gun violence. For many of us, it’s exciting to see a Latina show the world that once again we are forces to be reckoned with. But long before Gonzalez called B.S. and became the face of a growing national movement, other Latina activists had a huge hand in changing the course of our history.

Here’s a look at seven of some of history’s most powerful Latina activists who led marches and fought for your civil rights.

Sylvia Mendez

the.daily.feminist / Instagram

When it comes to the desegregation of schools in the country, American history often credits the case of Brown v. Board of Education for the changes. Barbara Rose Johns is also the one who is most typically considered to be the face of that movement after she led a 450-student walkout at a high school in Virginia in 1951.

But history has largely written out the work of Sylvia Mendez an American civil rights activists of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent who played a key role in the integration movement back in 1946.

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Mendez v. Westminster was a case sparked by Mendez’s rejection from an all-white school in California back in 1943 when she was just eight years old. Mendez’s parents sued the school district and the landmark case which was ultimately settled in 1947 successfully desegregated public schools  in California making it the first U.S. state to do so.

Dolores Huerta

@thewipinc / Instagram

As a fierce civil rights activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta became a tireless advocate of the United Farm Workers union. The American-born Latina of Mexican descent originally started out her career as an elementary school teacher. After seeing kids in her class come to school hungry and in need of new shoes, she decided she would help organize their parents.

She started to fight for economic improvements for Latino farm workers and pressed local government organizations to improve barrio conditions.

excellentcoatsonirritatedwomen / Instagram

In 1962, she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) with César Chávez. Her non-violent strikes and protests led to her 22 arrests. In 1997 she was named one of the three most important women of the year in by Ms. magazine.

Carmen Perez

Noam Galai/WireImage

In 2017, Perez helped lead the country in its largest protest in U.S. history as a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington.

In her 20 year career as an activist, Perez has dedicated her advocacy to some of today’s most important civil rights issues including violence against women, mass incarceration, gender inequality and community policing.

taiiasmartyoung / Instagram

Before the Women’s March she helped launch a 9-day 250-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC called March2Justice which implored congressional lawmakers to turn their attention to the nation’s police justice crisis.

Berta Cáceres

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Best known for leading a campaign that opposed a dam on the Gualcarque River, Cáceres was an award-winning Indigenous environmental activist. In 2015, the Honduran environmentalist received the Goldman Environmental Prize for helming the grassroots effort that pushed the world’s largest dam builder to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque.

Because of her efforts the river that was saved and considered to be sacred by the Lenca people, was still able to provide the nearby tribe access to water, food, and medicine.

infonodal / Instagram

On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for her activism when two assailants broke into her home and shot her. Her murder sparked international outrage and brought attention to the fact that Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world for activists who fight to protect forests and rivers.

The Mirabal Sisters

lorpop3 / Instagram

Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who ferociously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and became known as Las Mariposas. In 1959, after witnessing a = massacre executed by the Trujillo regime the sisters were sparked into activism and rallied communities into public protests that renounced Trujillo’s rule.

Three of the sisters, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria, were murdered for their advocacy when they were beaten to death by associates of the government.

historiadeellas / Instagram

Following the death of Las Mariposas, Dominicans across the island decided they had had enough. Six months later, Trujillo’s dictatorship was brought down when he was assassinated.

Sylvia Rivera 

luz_0602 / Instagram

Well before activists like Harvey Milk and figures like Caitlyn Jenner made waves, there was Sylvia Rivera. The Latina born and raised in New York City had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan roots and a tragic story when she first began to carve out a place for trans people in the American gay liberation movement. 

Rivera was a self-identified drag queen and transwoman who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and soon after founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Marsha P. Johnson.

anithacocktail_ / Instagram

In 1970 she led trans activists in the country’s first Gay Pride march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day March and in the years after she delivered fervent speeches that called for the support of LGBTQ people of color and who were homeless.


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Michelle Obama Keeps It Real About ‘Leaning In’ Saying It ‘Doesn’t Work All The Time’

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Michelle Obama Keeps It Real About ‘Leaning In’ Saying It ‘Doesn’t Work All The Time’

There’s countless reasons why former First Lady Michelle Obama is so beloved. For eight years the world saw a woman who made life look effortless. She easily transitioned from being a mom, wife, feminist, health nut, without missing a beat, all the while keeping it classy.

Now with the release of her memoir “Becoming,” we are getting an even more authentic look at this remarkable woman in a way we’ve never seen or heard before.

On Dec. 1, in a rare and candid moment during her book tour in Brooklyn, Obama kept things honest about the realities of the “lean in” women’s movement.

Speaking at Barclays Center on Saturday evening, Obama candidly touched on the struggles of ensuring a functioning work-life balance. “That whole ‘so you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time. That’s a lie,” Obama told an audience that had come to see her on her Becoming book tour. “And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time.”

The amused crowd erupted at her blunder causing Obama to quickly apologize for her blunder. “I forgot where I was for a moment! I thought I was at home y’all. I was getting real comfortable up in here.”

The term was first coined by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her 2013 book in which she said in order for women to achieve success, women need to project confidence and “sit at the table” in order to be heard. The way to do physically do that is by “leaning in.”

Sandberg herself said earlier this year that “leaning in” isn’t as effective as she once believed because women weren’t better off today than they were in 2013.

“We are stuck at less than 6 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO jobs and their equivalent in almost every country in the world,” she said in USA Today. “There were 19 countries run by women when “Lean In” was published. Today there are 11. Congressional numbers have inched up a tiny bit. And so, overall, we are not seeing a major increase in female leadership in any industry or in any government in the world, and I think that’s a shame.”

The term “lean in” was first coined by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her 2013 book in which she said in order for women to achieve success they need to project confidence and “sit at the table” in order to be heard. According to Sandberg, the way to physically do this is by “leaning in.”

Sandberg herself said has said that “leaning in” isn’t as effective as she once believed because women weren’t better off today than they were in 2013. Last year the COO remarked that women “are stuck at less than 6 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO jobs and their equivalent in almost every country in the world,” she said in USA Today. “There were 19 countries run by women when ‘Lean In’ was published. Today there are 11. Congressional numbers have inched up a tiny bit. And so, overall, we are not seeing a major increase in female leadership in any industry or in any government in the world, and I think that’s a shame.”

It didn’t take long for Twitter to reveal just how much they loved seeing Obama get comfy.

If you were one of the 19,000 people at Barclays that night, you’ll definitely want to tell your kids about it one day.

It’s timeless advice from a timeless lady.

It might be true that you can’t have it all, but let’s be real, Obama will always be pretty darn close in our eyes.

It was clearly a night of laughs, cheers, and tears.

We can’t wait to hear what she’ll say next. She’ll return to Barclays on Dec. 19.

READ: Michelle Obama Talks About Going High At Times When Donald Trump’s Lowest of Lows Threatened The Lives Of Her Children

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