After 13-year-old Alisha attempted to committ suicide, she told her story to her
mentor, Tiffany Gill. She shared that she'd grown tired of being bullied about
her dark skin and natural hair. She didn't see anything beautiful about herself.
She didn't feel worthy of being loved. And she felt life as a black woman had
very little to offer.
With a desire to help positively shape the way girls and young women of color view themselves in the world, Tiffany launched the Black Girls Unscripted project - a space where women and girls can see themselves reflected in ways that are authentic and positive. She was joined by a handful of like-minded and dedicated women committed to moving this mission forward. The message spread, that handful became hundreds, and those hundreds have become thousands! We're banding together to change the narrative and building a powerful movement in the process! We're focused on:
Empowering black women and girls to celebrate all aspects of black womanhood.
Utilizing film, literature and other digital/creative works to share our diverse stories.
Inspiring girls and women to seek out, celebrate, and become creators of positive and inspiring media that reflect a more balanced representation of women and girls of color.
Develop youth programs that improve self-esteem, encourage healthy lifeyles, and promote leadership.
A new story is unfolding and we invite you to be a part of it. Click here to learn more about our work and join our movement today!
Our mission is simple: To harness the power of storytelling – through digital, print, and intergenrational discussions – to help girls and young women develop positive perceptions of themselves and increase their voice in society.
We envision a world where young women and girls embrace their uniqueness, develop strong voices and become engaged citizens. With the support of partners across a variety of sectors, we aim to reach 50,000 girls and young women around the globe by 2022 with the message of self-love and empowerment and provide them with the tools needed to reach their fullest potential. We know it's an ambitious goal. But we believe it's an achievable one and we hope you’ll join us!
I created the Black Girls Unscripted project, an initiative for girls and young women, after learning of the attempted suicide of my 13-year-old mentee, Alisha. She shared that she hated not being pretty like the girls in the videos and magazines and had grown tired of being bullied about her dark skin, full lips and natural hair. But her most profound statement - there's nothing good about growing up to be a Black woman" - left me shaken to the core.
That single conversation would change the trajectory of my life.
The Advisory Circle provides support, feedback, and strategic direction for
Black Girls Unscripted initiatives.
Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice
Department of Education
The Kinnon Group, LLC
Public Square Communications
Dare To Be King, LLC
iYAGO Entertainment Group, LLC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Maryland Public Television
Johns Hopkins School of Education
Mission & Vision
I began reflecting on the many amazing women - in my home, family and neighborhood - readily accessible to me as a young girl growing up in Baltimore. So much has changed in our communities since then and I realized that more work needed to be done around challenging dangerous stereotypes, helping girls and young women change the way they view themselves in society and connecting them to positive role models. Two months later, I resigned my position as a non-profit executive and set out to bring my vision to life. I was joined by some truly remarkable women and what started out as a simple idea to create a space to highlight our beauty and brilliance, has morphed into a full-fledged movement with people around the globe joining our mission to inspire and empower girls and combat negative media imagery.
And media matters...
It matters because it generates images that perpetuate stereotypes. These stereotypes create unfair biases that far too often have the power to determine who is considered good, beautiful, valuable and in extreme cases, who is worthy of life. Our girls are listening and picking up on these cues and it’s time we address this head on.
This means we’ve got to get back to basics and do the work of reclaiming our youth. It’s going to take hard work and sacrifice - solution building always does. But we MUST commit to teaching our girls the truth: one that does not equate worth to beauty, but instead focuses on our vibrant past and limitless potential. Making room at the table for their voices and helping our girls reimagine their role in society must become a top priority.
Black Girls Unscripted has created a space for much-needed conversation around black woman+girlhood. This is a space for us to share OUR diverse stories – whether orally, digitally, through film or other creative mediums. Stories that help us piece together who we are. "Let’s figure this out together” is our mantra and we need your voice, talent and energy to help move this work forward. We hope you’ll become a part of the Black Girls Unscripted village where every woman and girl is given permission to dream big, exist beyond all boundaries, and live a life UNSCRIPTED!
With much love,
Founder & Chief Story Inspirer