“Be the Change You Wish to See”
In the past decade, there has been a great push to enact change in our country, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter. One of the most influential ways to achieve change in the future is to motivate our younger generation.
For Black History Month, we would like to honor just two of the many valuable activist groups that are empowering young African Americans: BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and Because of Them, We Can.
Because of Them We Can
Because of Them, We Can has a simple, yet beautiful campaign: to take pictures of young children dressed as famous African American leaders, athletes, entertainers, and politicians. It’s a creative way to make African American history more tangible for younger children and it’s a way to “educate and connect a new generation to heroes who have paved the way.” Eunique Gibson created the campaign in 2013 as a Black History Month initiative, but after the enthusiastic response from the public, Gibson now works year round, spreading the message.
Black Girls Rock!
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is a special non-profit mentoring program that was started by Beverly Bond in 2006. The organization offers enrichment retreats for young girls to boost their leadership skills and knowledge on an array of topics, from entrepreneurship to technology. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! even organizes a think tank for research and action on social policy, politics, and culture. The organization also recognizes the importance of young Black girls having positive role models, so the non-profit created the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards. These awards recognize actors, musicians, and activists for their work in the community.
Both of these initiatives are motivating the next generation to push forward while not forgetting those that sacrificed on their behalf. These movements are young, but they have captured the heart of so many people. Because of Them, We Can has partnered with PBS and BET. And millions of people have watched the televised BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards ceremony, which has even been attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.
This month, dedicate yourself to a campaign of passion, whether it’s animals, the environment, or your community. You’ll be amazed by how much good you can accomplish when you get involved in an activist group. It’s time for you to start enacting change!