(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – La’Keisha Gray-Sewell, the founder and Executive Director of Girls Like Me Project Inc (GLMPI), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, has received a $50,000 financial award from the Black Girl Freedom Fund (BGFF) to support its capacity building programme for African American girls.
The initiative is aimed at training African American girls on how to proliferate their worldview through media so they can help others make meaning of the world through their perspective and unique experiences. GLMPI was one of 68 organizations to be awarded grants totaling $4 million.
The award will help the organization to focus on data-driven media training solutions to increase opportunities for the beneficiaries in Chicago.
The mission of GLMPI is to help African-American girls ages 11-17 critically examine social, cultural, and political ideologies in media so that they will be able to overcome stigmas and negative stereotypes. In addition, they are equipped with the tools and strategies to become influential, independent digital storytellers who transform their communities and foster global sisterhood.
The initiative intends to serve as a resourceful career-driven programme in the Chicagoland area, by creating a safe space for young women of color between the ages of 12-18 who aspire to pursue careers in the media industry.
Similarly, BGFF is an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC). The organization announced its second round of grantmaking since the fund’s launch in September 2020. With the guidance of its Grantmaking Council, made up of six Black girls ages 14-22, G4GC awarded grants totaling over $4 million to 68 organizations centering on the leadership and organizing capacity of Black girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth in 23 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
The primary goal is to provide catalytic training in media literacy and digital storytelling for Black girls. The award will fund GLMPI Talks: Becoming Her, an all-girls talk show curated by GLMPI. Its objective is to train Black girls to deliver their worldview through transmedia platforms such as video, podcasts, and live social media platforms.
Moreover, the BGFF award will support the vision of GLMPI Talks: Becoming Her to create a community of emerging Black girl voices who bond and learn beside one another through their shared passions for the media industry.
Participants will gain experience, build their digital portfolio, and eventually land an internship and or job in the field. The peer-powered talk show produced by GLMPI girls is created to amplify their experiences, share resources, and create a platform for sisterhood. The shows are slated to begin later this year.
Gray-Sewell said the award is indicative of what is possible with intentional investment in Black girls.
“In a world fixated on the erasure of Black girl essence, I believe it is our duty as their matriarchs and caretakers to provide Black girls with tools that amplify their voices, affirm their Black girlhood, and fortify their civic leadership. Our programming and methodology train girls to use media as an advocacy and community-building tool.
“Through GLMPI Talks, girls will build a platform that harnesses their power through representation, amplification, social-emotional wellness, and career exploration in media. This is the passport to their true liberation and global citizenship”, she stressed.
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