It is empowering and exhausting to live in a time where women/non-binary/underserved are finally being heard. Let’s be honest, for decades people have been standing up for gender/human equality.
One of the phrases I say to myself over and over again: “We have so much we need to stand against, what do we want to stand for?”. Living is devastating, especially when inequality and injustice is so blatantly obvious.
Right now, in this moment, we have an opportunity to be brave. We have the responsibility to navigate change for the next generation of children, women, and people of our underserved community. We have the chance to create a new experience for those who have yet to fully experience the traumas of being viewed as “less than” by our current state of reality.
These changes start with organizations like Girls are Powerful.
Our mission is to enhance the self-esteem of all girls by inspiring them to recognize and embrace their natural qualities of being beautiful, unique, smart, confident, determined and powerful.
To help support and create a generation of girls and young women, who are confident, maintain positive relationships, make positive decisions and exhibit responsible behaviors by embracing their power.
• Individuality. Valuing a set of characteristics unique to one’s self, and encouraging all girls to build self-acceptance.
• Respect. Foster respect of the abilities, qualities, and achievements of all girls and women.
• Community. Building a safe and inclusive community for girls to exist and thrive, that supports and values each girl and the power they hold.
• Empowerment. Teaching girls how to identify and cultivate themselves into the influential women they will become.
“Culturally, the pinwheel symbolizes the constant flow of change in a person’s life. Change is a part of life and each time the pinwheel spins, change occurs around us. This is why the pinwheel was chosen as the Girls Are Powerful logo. For us, it not only symbolizes change, but it also represents inspiration to embrace and own your power!”
Shawntan Howell founded Girls Are Powerful in 2013. She was inspired to start this organization after a conversation with her daughter around self-worth. Shawntan has made it her mission to empower girls to be who they are, and give them tools to navigate a world that will try and tell them otherwise.
I met Shawntan at the HandsOn Twin Cities Be The Change Awards. I had the honor of being a keynote speaker, and Shawntan was one of three incredible Award Recipients. I knew from the moment we met that Girls Are Powerful was a movement that will change lives.
Photo: Chris McDuffie
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Girls Are Powerful Empowerment Summit. The goal of this even was to ignite the imagination and power in girls ages 7-14 years old. The first day was an interactive Career Day, and I was excited to represent choosing to be a Hairstylist. The thought I kept going back to throughout this experience was “I wish all young people had supportive experiences like this”.
Thank you Shawntan for choosing to stand for positive change.
Thank you to Girls Are Powerful for creating an experience that will give young girls the opportunity to feel safe, supported, empowered, and confident in their uniqueness.