Sisterhood Agenda's global girls initiative is trauma-informed and focused on Sisterhood Agenda's four empowerment principles: sisterhood, self-knowledge, self-development, and self-esteem. In addition to youth activities from A Journey Toward Womanhood, SisterCamp, and Sister Circles, we are adding SHE: Sisters, Healthy & Empowered holistic health activities to include:
1) Recognition of the importance of the program facility as a welcoming and safe space for girls
2) Performance and measurement of resilience through sisterhood support, and
3) The inclusion of the Sisterhood of Greatness Manifesto as a training and teaching tool
In the United States, “trauma-informed” approaches are revolutionizing health and human services. At Sisterhood Agenda, we believe that this approach can make a difference in empowering women and girls across the country, and ultimately in addressing gender inequality.
Sisterhood Agenda uses the emerging science of trauma and resilience to modify empowerment strategies that have already proven effective - programs that support individuals in determining their own priorities, have the flexibility to address changing goals over time, are delivered in valued settings, and reflect local circumstances. Responses to trauma need to be thoughtful, standardized, and replicable.
Our girls experience trauma at an alarming rate: over 90% of women have experienced two or more adverse childhood experiences (ACES) by the time they are eighteen years old. Women are 50% more likely than men to have high adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The most common trauma for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse: one in three women will experience a sexual assault by the age of eighteen.
There are many forms of trauma including historical trauma, social violence, childhood trauma, interpersonal violence, and institutional trauma. However, trauma is not destiny. The differentiating factor that distinguishes those who move on to live healthy and successful lives after trauma from those who do not is resilience.
Resilience refers to the capacity of individuals to maintain a relatively stable equilibrium and healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning after exposure to a potentially disruptive event. Simply put, resilience is the ability to cope with challenging situations and bounce back from adversity.
Fortunately, resilience can be fully developed and built up with intention. Preventive and health promotion activities within a supportive sisterhood environment can produce resilient individuals who are better able to accommodate and respond to trauma, stress, and anxiety.
The Sisterhood of Greatness Manifesto training is a specific set of activities that help girls to analyze their interpersonal relationships, media influences, and goal-setting for success.
We look forward to engaging girls in several communities around the globe with our full range of comprehensive girl empowerment program activities.
In the Spirit of Sisterhood,
Angela D. Coleman, MBA, CNM
Founder & President