At Paperblanks, we are firm believers in the importance of supporting our community, especially organizations empowering youth and minority groups. This week we want to spotlight Empowered Black Girl, a mentorship conference for Black girls, developed as an affiliation of Black Women Connect Vancouver.
Black Women Connect Vancouver is a collective of women who come together to build meaningful relationships and celebrate the beauty of Black womanhood. Earlier this month they launched Empowered Black Girl, a mentorship conference for Black girls in British Columbia which we were proud to support. The three-day program provided a platform for Black girls to interact and have empowering discussions with leading Black women from the private and public sectors in Canada.
Empowered Black Girl’s Goals
With a mission to inspire and empower young Black girls to become high-achieving women in positions of leadership, the Empowered Black Girl mentorship conference looks to create a safe and welcoming mentorship space for Black girls in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland by:
- Utilizing 1:1 mentorship to challenge stereotypes through discussion and analysis of the media.
- Creating space where girls can voice their experiences and discuss their representation and interlocking identities.
- Participating in community and advocacy projects to encourage the media to better and accurately represent Black girls and reflect their diversity.
- Finding mentors from within the Black community so that girls can see themselves reflected as leaders in the program.
- Matching girls with diverse backgrounds and family dynamics to allow them to broaden their perspective and celebrate their similarities and differences.
- Setting Black girls up for success by providing them with tools, life skills and confidence to move on to the next chapters of life.
Why Is Empowered Black Girl Important?
Research shows that Black and racialized girls frequently report experiencing difficulties and obstacles at institutions with little to no Black representation. Many of these girls describe experiences of overt and subtle forms of racism, sexism and other sources of chronic oppression. Black girls face quite a few disparities due to race and gender. Overall, Black girls have become overpoliced and underprotected, and most certainly forgotten in several different movements and intervention plans. Although Black girls excel at impressive rates considering the obstacles, they still have a hard time carving out their own career paths, which is why programs like Empowered Black Girl are so important.
A mentoring relationship between Black women and Black girls encourages them to break through stereotypes and helps to create a pathway for them to be leaders in the future. Mentoring allows young women the chance to spend time with a caring and supportive woman invested in their success. A large body of research has demonstrated that mentoring plays a significant role in student success, and women mentors appear to make a substantial contribution to the academic careers of women students. Mentoring is an essential element in guiding women through major transitions in life by making a positive impact.
The majority of studies on same-race mentoring emphasize its potentially important role in reducing social isolation and warming up the “chilly climate” of predominantly White institutions for minorities.