What if we gave ourselves permission to be creative? To dream big and find innovative ways to deliver on those dreams in support of young Black women and girls in the Deep South?In an effort to provide time and space to young Black women and girls in ways that empower them to grow into their own power and thus have a positive impact in their homes and communities, The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects approaches every aspect of our work with creativity and innovation.
What does this look like
• Development of Learning Tours throughout the regional south that provides a look into the south’s past and present, highlighting how communities across the region respond to deficits and challenges.
• Leadership development and advising of young college-age women; providing mental health support, resources for success and troubleshooting of individualized concerns/issues.
• Research and Policy development of issues that impact Black women and girls; including, pushout, sex trafficking, violence/abuse, housing insecurity and more.
• Black Girl Summer, an intensive program that supports the research of our RBG participants in preparation for development of their community projects.
• Environmental education programs for youth.
• Programming with men and boys that address the interruption of sexism in casual conversation. Teaching boys and men to be the antithetical agents of a system that wants women oppressed.
• Microgrants to Black women during times of need and transition.
Staying creative in an evermoving field of social change, is a way of being that requires
• Vulnerability (truth telling)
• Improvisation (spontaneity)
• Virtuosity (integrity/courage)
• Collaboration (being in community)
How do we stay creative in our personal and professional lives?
Creativity and Innovation are built into the very fabric of The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects as part of our Organizational Values. Our Book of Culture says, “The young women and communities we work with depend on our capacity to be creative, push boundaries, ask difficult questions and offer answers when we can. These are consummate ways to deliver affirming, resourceful solutions that challenge prevailing assumptions.”
Being creative and innovative at The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects is at the core of who we are and should be fostered personally and professionally. To foster personal creativity, we currently host weekly online “Happy Hours” that encourage participants to think creatively in ways of presenting personal stories and interactions that help us get to know each other better, breaking down barriers and lifting spirits with laughter. We also encourage and welcome creative approaches to new and existing projects, support individualized learning and exploration and require thinking outside the box to help break through the challenges faced by Black women and girls.
Power and liberation requires those of us doing this work to be innovative. Doing the same thing over and over hasn’t worked. And Black women and girls do not have time for us to figure out how to make sense of the same practices. So, whether we are giving ourselves permission or just making it a way of life, we will be here building our capacity to be creative and innovative until Black women and girls have the time and space they need to empower themselves and their communities.