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Founded by Joanne N. Smith in 2000, Girls for Gender Equity (ggenyc.org) is a Brooklyn-based outreach group that addresses the unique barriers faced by young Black women. With the 2020 election season in high gear, GGE is now sharing one of their signature projects, “The Black Girl Bill of Rights,” with various candidates through digital town halls held by young activists.

Members of GGE’s pool of youth organizers established this list of nine proclamations in April 2016, and it details rights every Black girl is entitled to from the right to play to the right to control their own bodies. It is their hope that bringing these demands to future lawmakers now will help shape policy later. 

The Black Girl Bill of Rights

Every Black girl deserves:

  • The right to education and information about African and Black history and her story.
  • The right to express her Blackness however she defines it without judgment.
  • The right to be safe and have our physical, emotional, and mental health honored, protected and nurtured.
  • The right to real sex education, contraception, tampons, and pads.
  • The right to agency and control over our own bodies in every space.
  • The right to justice and reparations in response to harm and sexual assault and when police officers murder people of color.
  • The right to play and fun.
  • The right to community, sisterhood, and support from other girls.
  • The right to BE—exactly who she is, free from stereotypes and insecurity, her full unique self.

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By Kim Small

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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