As we approach the 2020 election, Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is centering the needs of cisgender (cis) and transgender (trans) Black girls and gender nonconforming (GNC) Black youth. This project, A National Agenda for Black Girls, is a collaborative project engaging organizations across the United States who are committed to the well-being of Black girls.
Black girls are the experts of their own lived experiences. The National Agenda includes six national policy priorities that speak to their needs:
These policy priorities will be introduced to the 2020 presidential candidates throughout the election cycle via a series of digital town halls held by a steering committee of youth activists.
Black girls, like all communities, are not a monolith. A National Agenda for Black Girls recognizes and centers the full spectrum of gender identity of Black young people, including cis and trans Black girls, and all young people who have experienced Black girlhood. We recognize in doing gender and racial justice work that by bringing Black girls and Black young people along the gender spectrum from margin to center, we are actively working to liberate and uplift all experiences of Black girlhood and femmehood, acknowledging that language is constantly evolving. We intentionally use the phrases “cis and trans Black girls and gender non-conforming Black youth” and “Black girls” to speak to the needs of our communities.
I support a national conversation centering the experiences of Black girls to inform the policy platforms of the 2020 presidential candidates, therefore, I pledge to support A National Agenda for Black Girls, an intersectional policy agenda that centers cis and trans Black girls and gender non-conforming youth of color.
As part of Girls for Gender Equity’s (GGE’s) Sisters in Strength program, a group of youth organizers participated in a civic engagement exercise where they discussed the founding documents that have shaped the United States’ values. They learned that the Bill of Rights was written as a response to the Constitution and ensured that individuals would have certain rights and autonomy, cementing their intention to live in a democracy, not a monarchy. Based on what they read, they understood that people wanted to “live in a world where they had power” and “not be oppressed by big government”. These values motivated the people (Anti-Federalists) to write and ratify the Bill of Rights.
What youth organizers observed was that only white men wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the voices of Black girls and women were missing.
At the historic Black Girl Movement Conference, Black girls gathered to imagine a world that values them and where all girls and women of color could contribute ideas to create a world that they would want to live in. This is their founding document.
Based on the United States Bill of Rights, we are creating our own Bill of Rights that declares the rights and privileges that Black girls and women deserve in order to thrive in our contemporary society. We have named it the Black Girls Declaration of Freedom and Humanity. It is a working document that we will share with other Black girls for input, as well as present to the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, founded in 2016, to advance issues and legislation important to the welfare of women and girls of African descent.Every Black girl deserves:
The Black Girl Bill of Rights was first presented April 9th, 2016 in New York City during a workshop “Our Declaration of Freedom and Humanity” that was facilitated by Sisters in Strength (Girls for Gender Equity) at Black Girls Movement Conference 2016.