Nov 20, 2017

Global Girls spread messages of empowerment downstate

As Global Girls programs spread far and wide, we also are keeping our eyes and attention on what's happening with grls in our own backyard. Over the summer, we created a show on bullying, cyberbullying and gossip designed to help girls understand "power" unchecked regardless of the source, and efforts we can employ to empower ourselves and then use that power for the greater good. 

Using dance, singing and acting, a group of eight girls traveled to Champaign, Illinois, East St. Louis, Illinois and St. Louis, MIssiouri performing for more than 1.200 people ranging in age from 8 to 80, males and females. After each show, the girls led a "talk back" with the audieince. The questions were thought-provoking and impactful. Audiences also told stories they'd like to see on stage. A few aksed if we could return and teach them to put their stories on stage.

We have plans to continue local travel in addition to continuing our international outreach. The Grenada Global Girls are moving full speed ahead with thier efforts to come to Chicao in June to reconnect and perform with the girls here. Our partners have redoubled efforts to pave the way for a safe, hassle-free journey. We'll keep you posted on our progress.


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Aug 11, 2017

Global Girls summer of love

Youth at our Power Lunch learning about careers
Youth at our Power Lunch learning about careers

While our dance studios normally hold 60 girls, during the summer we squeeze in another 35 to accommodate south side girls, ages 3 to 18, who really love acting, dancing and singing. Over seven weeks this year, our youth improved their dance, acting and social skills, performed for seniors at two neighboring senior centers and for children at three local day care centers.

Justice, 15, has been a part of our programs for three years. She says she keeps coming back because, “It’s a feeling of home. Everyone is open-minded and willing to try new things. I get to make up poems, say them in front of people and getting their feedback. I also like working hard on a dance and then hearing the audience go crazy when I finish a difficult routine. That’s really awesome.”

“We are like the family I wish I had in real life,” remarked 15 year old Emanie. “When I get on stage, I become a new person. I’m really happy because I love performing and being able to showcase what I worked on every day during rehearsal.”

This is 14 year old Symone fourth year in the Youth Performance Camp. “I love being here. The staff and girls make it feel like a family I know I’m growing as a dancer and now, I’m starting to find my skill as an actress. I couldn’t imagine a summer without Global Girls.”

Symone traveled with us to Grenada in 2016. She still communicates with several of the girls we worked with during our arts exchange. Mrs. Penn will return to Grenada in November to finalize plans for at least eight girls to visit Chicago in March 2018.

Along with six other talented Global Girls performers, Symone will travel to East St. Louis and Bellville, Illinois to work with other girls teaching them to use their voices as they advocate for themselves and tell their stories. The team will also perform at several venues. One of the partners on the project is Lindenwood University-Belleville.

As our summer program winds down, the staff is taking a breather from a long, but eventful and fulfilling summer. We sincerely appreciate all the volunteers, partner businesses, sponsors and individual donors who continue to step forward and help us do what we do best – empower girls through the arts to realize their dreams and develop their personal best. We’ll resume the work in September with renewed passion, vigor and commitment.

Girls at work
Girls at work
Fun with friends
Fun with friends
Performance for seniors
Performance for seniors
Reciting the law, part of the morning ritual
Reciting the law, part of the morning ritual
May 12, 2017

Global Girls are on the MOVE

healthy eating workshop
healthy eating workshop

Global Girls is on the MOVE helping girls right here in Chicago so that they can continue helping girls in other countries. In honor of Earth Day, April 22, we hosted a healthy lifestyle campaign designed to inspire girls to become nutrition conscious consumers and to move more. The group who called themselves, The Nutritionists, learned about healthy eating, reading food labels and counting calories so that they could teach it to other youth in a series of community workshops. The campaigned culminated with a nutritious lunch at the Global Studio for family and community members.

We believe that hunger and malnutrition go hand in hand. Because most of our schools receive free lunches, youth have the option of eating somewhat nutritious meals at least while they are in school. However, there are forces at work that that influence their food choices. In 2015, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity examined how companies advertise sugar-laden soda, high-fat snacks and massive-calorie restaurant fare to people of color and how those foods are impacting youth obesity rates. Researchers found that a total of 48 brands were advertising directly to children and teens, and they were all significantly more likely to target those ads at Latino and black kids. The result is that young blacks see 70 percent more food-related advertising than their white counterparts, and twice as many television ads for candy, and sugar snacks and drinks. In contrast, the report found, those same companies were significantly less likely to target black and Hispanic consumers with their TV advertising for healthier food categories such as yogurt and other dairy products, 100 percent juice, water, and fruits and vegetables. “The Nutritionists” served as a counter balance to the big advertisers and chipped away at their destructive propaganda. 

As a 17 year old youth performing arts organization with a strong following and reputation for creatively addressing youth issues, Global Girls believes that this initiative can become an ongoing program that lasts for many years. We’ve taken on litter in the community and led campaigns to clean streets and parks. We trained other youth, and they’ve maintained the effort with annual events each summer. “The Nutritionists” is a natural, youth-led outgrowth. Candy wrappers, chip bags and fast food containers make up most of the litter in our community. Some of our youth eat junk for breakfast and lunch and then have fast food for dinner. Our videos can be used by teachers, parents, other leaders to show youth the difference between the body digesting fruits and veggies and the way it digests candy and chips. Those videos can be shown over a long period of time. Also, they can be shared on social media by hundreds of youth. We could even take the project to other communities. The community brunches can be quarterly events. We certainly want to continue the project beyond the funding period because we want our friends and families to become healthier.

workshop opening group
workshop opening group
youth getting healthy lunch
youth getting healthy lunch
listening group
listening group
 
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