Directors of Girls Programming, Elizabeth Ige and Sharena Soutar, as well as Director of Research, Dr. LeConte Dill, will be presenting at this year’s NNHVIP Conference about young women of color and violence. Take a preview of one of KAVI’s girl participants and her testimony about KAVI:
This week KAVI’s Queens program took a different take on Take Your Daughter to work day. Instead, KAVI volunteers and facilitators figured out what interested our Queens most and matched them up with professionals in the field, letting them shadow their daily activities in their respective jobs. Two girls shadowed Founding Executive Director, Dr. Gore, in the emergency room. Others participated in dance rehearsals at the acclaimed Alvin Ailey School, learned about the justice system at a law office, and saw behind the camera in a photography studio.
Black girls’ zero-sum struggle: Why we lose when black boys dominate the discourse
Two African-American girls live in the White House. But Malia and Sasha Obama’s presence there, in a traditional two-parent home, alongside their highly accomplished mother and their devoted grandmother, feeds a dangerous and false narrative about the progress of African-American girls and women. Though President Obama has been able to provide this kind of life for his daughters, he seems oblivious to all the ways in which Malia and Sasha’s educational and economic trajectory, even prior to coming to the White House, looks in no way similar to that of the masses of African-American girls.
Like many African-American men, the president has bought into the narrative about the problems of absentee black fathers and about the potential danger and destructiveness of fatherless black sons. Donning the role of father-in-chief for back people last week, the president announced his new My Brother’s Keeper initiative, designed to address and ameliorate issues of low achievement and lack of mentoring for young black and brown men.
I am ambivalent about My Brother’s Keeper. Yes, by almost every social measure, African-American men, and boys in particular, fall behind at alarming rates. They are suspended from school the most, incarcerated the most, have the highest rates of unemployment, commit disproportionate amounts of violent crime, and have some of the lowest high school and college graduation rates. Frequently their encounters with law enforcement and white male authority figures end with black men dead.
These are alarming times. Times that would make Ida B. Wells weep. Over these many months, as I have watched the failure to convict both Trayvon Martin’s and Jordan Davis’ killers, I have worried. Worried because I know that when African-American boys are being killed with impunity by white people this triggers every kind of deeply held race trauma that African-Americans have. We circle the wagons. We fight fiercely to protect our beloved boys. We demand their right to grow into men. And we should.