We at Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey are sickened by the toll that systemic racism continues to take on our country and stand united with communities of color to challenge racial injustice. While all girls face significant barriers to success, those faced by Black girls can seem insurmountable.
Black girls are more likely to encounter racism and discrimination at school. Black girls made up 16% of the total female public school population, yet made up 36% of female students who reported being bullied on the basis of race.
Black girls are more likely to be disciplined for minor infractions such as dress code. The perception that Black girls are “less innocent” can contribute to harsher punishment in school, fewer leadership opportunities, and less support in school.
Black girls experience harmful discipline practices as early as preschool. Black children experience excessive discipline as early as preschool for offenses such as disruptive behavior and tantrums, making them 10 times more likely to face discipline, grade retention, and involvement with the criminal system.
Black girls are stereotyped as being more “adult” than their white peers. These biases can cause adults to have less empathy for Black girls and disregard their social and emotional needs.
Black girls are believed to know more about adult topics.
Racism and racial bias put Black girls at risk of sexual violence.
At Girls Inc. we both envision and, through direct service and advocacy, work to create a world where Black girls and young women feel safe, valued and supported. We recommit to ensure that girls and young women develop the skills and confidence to dream big and achieve those dreams; to see themselves as change agents within their communities.
Despite the numbness and the anger and the pandemic, we will not slow down. Join us to make sure that the girls and young women of the Greater Philadelphia region have the tools and support, and even the optimism, to see themselves as leaders while we work collectively for a more equitable society.