10 Black Women-Owned Organizations That Empower Black Girls

By Moiyattu Banya

Michelle Obama’s recent remarks at an appearance at the Apollo Theater emphasized the importance of educational opportunities for girls around the world. It is so important that we nurture the future generation of young girls. We are proud of women around the world who are making a change in their corners of the world to uplift Black girls and to give them hope for a better future. Several organizations around the world owned and run by Black women do just this. This isn’t a list to just browse through, but we hope that you reach out to these organizations and lend a hand, volunteer, donate or just spread the word about this important work. We celebrate these organizations doing such critical work!

1. Girls Going Global (United States)

The reason why this organization is so fantastic is that it exposes girls to traveling at such early ages! The organization describes itself as “a social enterprise aiming to expose African-American girls to the cultures of the world.” Being that we live in a global world and the importance of Black girls getting to know the world around them beyond the classroom, this organization could not have come at a better time. The organization seeks to make young people “international game changers,” particularly African-American girls who don’t have access to such programs. The organization seeks to empower Black girls to become more knowledgeable of the world around them and diligent in matters of foreign affairs. With their long-term goal being empowering girls through travel, we applaud them for their efforts!

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit Girlsgoingglobal.org or Instagram @Girlsgoingglobal.

2. Island Girls Roc (Jamaica)

Founded by women from Jamaica, Island Girls Ruling Our Course is a nonprofit organization that works on enhancing the leadership skills of girls through a transformative leadership approach. The organization “empowers girls using education and creating opportunities for them to participate in activities of interest that ignite hope, inspires passion and assists them in creating a platform for their future.” The organization uses technology and education as its main method to engage girls in Jamaica. Their goal is to create experiences for young girls to enable them to gain more “ownership and create direction for their future whilst increasing self esteem.”

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit Islandgirlsroc.org.

3. Girls Empowerment Summit (Sierra Leone, West Africa)

GESSL is an organization based in Sierra Leone that works with vulnerable girls in Sierra Leone by providing year-round workshops and a summit to enable them to become leaders in their society. Since 2012, GESSL has provided programs to girls free of cost. The organization’s mission is to reach vulnerable young girls (ages 12-16) in the country’s capital Freetown and provide them with knowledge, skills, courage, and confidence so that they can become fulfilled and successful young women. The organization provides year-round workshops to girls in Sierra Leone and empowers, enlightens and inspires them in the areas of leadership and self-development, mentorship, reproductive health and community development and overall sisterhood. The girls develop year-long community projects to develop solutions for problems in their environments. They also build peer-to-peer relationships with other girls whilst building lasting relationships with young women mentors.

For more on the organization and how to get involved visit Girls Empowerment Summit Sierra Leone or Instagram @GESSierraleone.

4. Petals and Belles (New York, USA)

We all know how important it is to influence the lives of girls living in any city, particularly girls of color. Petals and Belles founder Damali Elliot founded the organization to create a space for girls to receive support to become successful in life. The organization prides itself in its “multi-faceted approach” to empower the growth of girls, which includes workshops and after school, weekend and summer programs. One of the intriguing things about this organization is its mentorship program where young women are matched to the girls during their workshops. The organization’s “innovative curriculum combines mentoring, creative workshops, awe-inspiring social experiences and academic coaching to ensure the SUCCESS of GIRLS.”

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit PetalsnBelles.org or Instagram @PetalsnBelles.

5. I Am a Girl Barbados (Barbados)

I Am a Girl Barbados focuses on working with girls in Barbados. A member-based organization, it has a strong focus on empowering girls to “create a positive change within themselves, their families and, by extension, their communities.” The organization focuses on issues such as body image and self-esteem, domestic violence and many other issues relevant to the needs of girls in Barbados. I am a Girl Barbados “envisions a Barbadian Community where girls of every variety of background are fully afforded with the equal opportunities of education, employment, health care, safety and the chance to be positioned as the future leaders of region and the Caribbean.”

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit I Am a Girl Barbados or Instagram @Iamagirlbarbados.

6. Uniquely You Summit (United States)

Based in Philadelphia, Uniquely You Summit has the aim to empower Black girls “where they are to go places they’ve never been.” Recently the organization launched its #WhatIknownow campaign, a platform for Black women to provide advice to Black girls about life, career etc. This movement has become a space to bring different people together to also fundraise for the organization whilst spreading love to Black girls. Follow their Instagram account @UniquelyYusummit to get so much life and Black girl inspiration.

For more on the organization and how to get involved visit Uniquelyyousummit.org.

7. Think Young Women (Gambia, West Africa)

Think Young Women (TYW) is an organization led by young African women activists in Gambia. The organization focuses on raising awareness on very controversial issues impacting young girls in Gambia including violence against women and in particular provides programming and awareness around harmful traditional practices such as FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting). The organization is based on “the belief that young women and girls are active members of the wider community and play a vital role in it.” In particular the organization seeks to create a community to empower and uplift young women in their society.

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit Think Young Women or Instagram @ThinkYoungWomen.

8. The Girls Education Initiative of Ghana (Ghana)

With the need for girls to receive additional education support and programming in Ghana, the organization Girls Education Initiative of Ghana was formed. The Girls Education Initiative of Ghana “provides academic and financial support for girls and applicants with special needs so that they can access higher education and professional opportunities.”

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit GEIG GHANA or Instagram @GirlsEdGH.

9. Black Girls CODE (United States)

This organization is one that brings so much innovation to the world of Black girls, and we love it. Black Girls CODE is “devoted to showing the world that Black girls can code and do so much more.” The organization provides coding lessons to girls, particularly “by reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs.” The organization aims to show the world that indeed Black girls can be “the programmers for tomorrow” and become “masters of their technological worlds.” Since their launch in April 2011, Black Girls CODE has had the honor of bringing technology and entertainment to many wonderful girls of color.

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit Blackgirlscode.com or Instagram @Blackgirlscode.

10. Akili Dada Institute (Nairobi, Kenya)

Akili Dada is an organization that develops girls in Kenya through an “incubator leadership program.” The organization takes a “holistic approach to leadership development, providing wrap around support, including financial support, mentorship, skills training, leadership development and platforms for girls and young women to share their stories, ideas, challenges and innovations.” One of the interesting things about this organization is its young change makers program that is offered to teenage girls to develop as leaders within their various communities, particularly their schools. The program includes offering scholarships to girls and providing in-school activities for the girls as well as mentorship and other opportunities.

For more on the organization and how to get involved, visit AKILIDADA.org or Instagram @Akilidada.

In this day in age when little Black girls receive so much negativity about their identity, skin color, bodies, experiences etc., we are so happy that there are Black women who have the heart space to do such critical work that meets the needs of Black girls. Whether it be traveling or learning how to build an app or developing their leadership skills, Black girls around the world deserve nothing but the best. Here’s to raising more powerful Black women through the uplifting, enlightening and empowering of Black girls all around the world!

Photo Credit: Girls Empowerment Summit

Moiyattu Banya is a Native to Sierra Leone, a Digital Mover and Shaker, Feminist and a Writer. She currently teaches women studies courses at Temple University in the United States and also does international consulting with Social Enterprises in West Africa. She is the founder of Women Change Africa. Moiyattu is part of the African Women’s Development Fund’s (AWDF) Community of African Women Writers. Follow her on Twitter @WcaWorld.

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