How can reflecting on your identity and setting goals and intentions for the future, impact the way you build self-love and a deeper, intersectional understanding of your own identity? Girls in the Girls Inc. of Alameda County ACT (Achieving Change Together) and HEART (Helping Everyone Achieve Respect Together) programs participated in an activity where they created self-portraits of themselves to ideate on their futures.
As part of Girls Inc. of Alameda County’s Black History Month events and activities, our girl leaders screened Robert Iscove’s Cinderella starring Brandy and Whitney Houston while they had the chance to connect with each other, set goals for their future, and state affirmations for themselves. The girls were provided with canvases and paint to create visuals of themselves in a future space built for them.
Girls Inc.’s ACT program is a hands-on social justice advocacy and civic engagement program that provides young women the opportunity to find their voice and develop projects to address issues in their community. Girls Inc.’s HEART program focuses on sexual and reproductive health education and advocacy to think about the different intersections of gender and culture. 100% of girls who participated in both programs demonstrated the skills to manage and express their emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and stress in a constructive way, while 100% also developed intrinsic motivation to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
For our girls, the importance of finding and envisioning a place for yourself, is a core part of learning to take up space in places that have historically denied women of color. Programs like ACT and HEART, create safe spaces for girls to explore who they are and learn how to develop skills in their own social justice advocacy and leadership.