This year, we took the issue of decriminalizing Black women and girls global.
In January, Dr. Monique W. Morris’ TED Talk on the criminalization of Black girls in schools was released and to date, has already generated over 1.5 million views worldwide.
Dr. Morris also led a global conversation at The TEDSummit, a gathering of over 1000 leading thinkers in Edinburgh, Scotland, on healing justice for Black Women and girls.
Then, in July, the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) led a delegation to Kilgoris and Nairobi, Kenya. The delegation, including partners affiliated with the Alameda County EMERGE Reentry Program, went to learn from the Kakenya Centre for Excellence about ways to shift a public narrative about the value of educating girls.
The Kakenya’s Centre for Excellence is a private, residential primary and secondary school for girls that promotes the idea that education can open a door of numerous opportunities for girls. Led by founder Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, the school takes a multi-faceted approach to empower girls while ensuring every girl’s full needs and potential is met.
Dr. Ntaiya mission is to educate girls, end harmful traditional practices, and uplift her community. Her TED Talk, Empower a Girl, Transform a Community, which has garnered over 1.5 million views, advances the critical principle that a school where girls can live and study safely uplifts their community along the way.
This experience taught NBWJI, The Mentoring Center, and Girls Inc. of Alameda County leadership countless global lessons and methods for how educators can interact with girls and their community.
“People often treat countries in Africa as if they need saving,” says the youngest delegate, 10th – grader, and video documentarian Mahogany Morris. “This experience demonstrated that there is already knowledge in the culture, which can guide our practices with girls in the U.S. and globally.”
To read more about NBWJI’s journey to Kenya and to view the video recap, visit here.