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Giving Voice to the Needs and Concerns of Black Girls & Women

Guest Contributor:

Christie A. Cruise, Ph.D.

Author, It Don’t Hurt Now: My Journey of Self-Love & Self-Acceptance

Founder & Owner, That’s Write Consulting, Editing, and Proofreading Services

In January 2019 the Lifetime network released the docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. The docuseries brought to light issues within the Black community, and society in general, as it relates to the adultification of black girls including dismissal of sexual assault and abuse allegations, lack of support and encouragement, and interruption of childhood experiences due to perceived characteristics based on myths and stereotypes.

In 2017, The Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown Law released a report entitled Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood. This report discussed the results of a study conducted to understand adults’ perceptions of Black girls. The study showed that the overall view Americans have of Black girls is that they are "less innocent and more mature for their age...needing less nurturing, less protection, less support and less comfort" when compared to their White peers.

There are several organizations and publications giving voice to the needs and concerns of Black girls and women and providing spaces for us to be unapologetically Black and female.

1. Black Women's BluePrint

Builds power with Black girls and women through training, workshops, courses, and seminars.

2. Black Women for Wellness

Committed to healing, supporting and educating Black women and girls through health education, empowerment and advocacy.

3. Bloom Magazine

Focuses on the healing and restoring the souls of black identities and black women through the exploration of identity, self-actualization, and self-care.

4. Black Women's Health Imperative

Dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Black women and girls physically, emotionally, and financially.

5. National Black Women's Justice Institute

Works to reduce racial and gender disparities across the justice continuum affecting Black women, girls, and their families by conducting research, providing technical assistance, engaging in public education, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for informed and effective policies.

6. Midnight & Indigo

A literary magazine dedicated to publishing short fiction and narrative essays by Black female writers.

7. The Orchid Society

Young professional network of African American women serving as positive role models for young minority girls in the New Orleans metro area through mentoring, community service and social awareness programming.

Christie A. Cruise, PhD is an educator, advocate, and an author with a passion for empowering women and girls through inclusion, equity, and social justice. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois; her Master of Science from Eastern Illinois University; and her PhD from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education in enrollment management, academic affairs, multicultural programs, assessment, and community outreach.

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