*Black Girls Rock held their 2nd annual Black Girls Lead conference July 28-July 31, 2016 at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. The conference hosted 125 young women ages 13-17 from 82 cities across four countries including the United States, Canada, the Bahamas and South Africa.
The conference included over 20 panels, workshops and masterclasses with award winning educators, journalists, entertainers, computer scientists, politicians and motivational speakers. Over the four days, Black girls Lead fostered sisterhood, wellness and cultural enrichment through team building activities and creative exercises.
“Our current social, political and cultural climate is an example of the dire need for our community to pull together and work toward collaborative solutions that empower Black youth to be their bravest, brightest, best and most authentic selves,” says Black Girls Rock! founder and CEO Beverly Bond.
“I have deep gratitude for the incredible people in my village who understand the critical importance of investing in our young women to help them recognize their agency, understand the power of their voices and prepare them to become 21st century leaders who stand and deliver.”
2016 Black girls Lead signature panels included Black Girls Rock for Justice, a discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement moderated by Author and WBLS radio personality Raqiyah Mays, featuring Black Girls Rock honoree Nadia Lopez, principal of Mott Hall Academy; activist Tamika Mallory of the NY Justice League, Journalist and activist Michaela Angela Davis; publicist Autumn Marie; and Malcolm X’s daughter, author Ilyasah Shabazz.
Black Girls Lead, in its second year, grew out of a Black girls Rock! two week long overnight camp that began in 2011 with 30 participants. The camp has since transformed into a four-day intensive able to accommodate four times its original camp size. Each year the leadership program has continued to grow and expand on its mission to provide life skills, self-empowerment and sisterhood to young Black women from around the world who can go on to instill the same skills in their communities. This year’s 125 participants were chosen from an application pool of over 500 young women from across five continents.
Other panels included Girls Rock Tech, a conversation with leading experts and innovators in technology; Black Girl Magic, a curated panel featuring YouTube Black creatives; and Black Women in the White House, a talk with top ranking women in Obama’s administration.
Life skills workshops will be offered on essay writing, financial literacy, social media navigation and public speaking. The action-packed, empowerment conference will also feature a College to Career session with representatives from Barnard College, Columbia University, Howard University, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, Yale University and more.
For more information about Black Girls Rock! and Black Girls Lead visit www.blackgirlsrock.org. For Twitter and Instagram use handle: @BlackGirlsRock + hashtags: #BlackGirlsRock and #BlackGirlsLead.
About Black Girls Lead™ and Black Girls Rock!™
Black Girls Lead™ was created to advance young women’s leadership development, critical thinking skills, academic achievement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. Since its inception Black Girls Rock! has been committed to empowering girls to lead by giving them the tools needed to find their voice, define their truth, own their agency, and honor their calling.
Founded by celebrity DJ and philanthropist, Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock!™ is a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the culture of media images and empowering women and girls. Black Girls Rock!™ Inc. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the multifaceted movement, that has been committed to enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity development programs since 2006.