What We Do
We provide camp experiences during non-academic hours. While each camp has a different focus, all of our camps address a specific opportunity gap that impacts Black girls uniquely, teaches efficacy, and utilizes a social justice approach. To that end, we have a camp that focuses on journalism and technology, because Black girls and women are underrepresented in the STEM and Technology pipeline. We provide camps on social justice leadership that empower girls to be critical thinkers about the state of their communities and become change agents. We are piloting a health and wellness camp that not only teaches healthy behaviors, but also teaches girls about the root causes of health disparities that impact their community. These camps are held during the fall, spring, winter, and summer breaks. For each camp, we hire college students or recent college graduates as camp leaders, and hire girls form former camps to serve as peer mentors.
Why We Do What We Do
In 2013, The Girl Scouts of America reported that “many girls are being left behind. In particular, Black girls face significant challenges in making successful transitions to adulthood.” Since 2013, with the release of several reports that conclude that Black girls are at increased risk of being victims of racialized gender violence and sexual harassment, harsh discipline policies in schools, a school-to-prison pipeline, and racial and gender stereotypes in schools (Crenshaw, et. al., 2015; Smith-Evans & George, 2015; Morris, 2016), collectively scholars are rethinking, reimagining, and interrogating/challenging the role of schooling in the lives of Black girls, especially those attending high minority and high density schools.
The Pew Charitable trust asserts that a multipronged approach involving funding, advocacy, and “intensive community outreach and culturally specific programming” is needed to address the challenges Black girls face. Big Hair, Bigger Dreams is responding to the critical state of Black girls by providing intensive community outreach and culturally specific programming that addresses the unique challenges that Black girls face.
As our organization grows we hope to conduct research and provide advocacy support on behalf of black girls to better address the opportunity gaps they face.
Overview of the Team
We are a small group of committed individuals who are trying to actualize the dream of eliminating barriers for girls.
We currently have one full time staff member, one intern, and a working board of directors. We hire temporary program staff for each camp we host. The program staff ranges between 4-8 people. The program staff usually consists of 2-3 college student leaders, 2-3 high school peer mentors, and 1-2 guest instructors.
Although we all come from different walks of life, we come together under a common umbrella of serving the community.
We believe that we are the ones we have been waiting for.