What is a successful moment in your care

What is a successful moment in your career so far? I would say that a “proud moment” in my career has been founding a feminist-humanist of color mentoring and advocacy program called the Women’s Leadership Project. Over the past decade, the WLP has been based in South Los Angeles schools like Gardena High School, Washington Prep HS, Audubon Middle School and King-Drew Magnet of Medicine and Science. Through the WLP I’ve had the opportunity to assist two generations of “first in the family” students who are undocumented, LGBTQ, foster care and system-involved go on to college, careers and community activism. Also, having the opportunity to teach and mentor Black girls dehumanized on a daily basis in K-12 schools and classrooms has been galvanic. For example, whenever we do lessons/outreach on the high rates of sexual assault and sexual violence in our communities and families black girls are either silent or in denial—defending their own victimization, disidentifying with other black women and girls, and invoking respectability politics. They’ve been socialized to respond this way due to the normalization of misogynoirist hetero-normative violence against black women and girls in mainstream media and the dominant culture. Of course, this is also informed by their invisibility in public school curricula. Last year when we were reading about Claudette Colvin (whose experiences with sexual harassment and colorism are still profoundly relevant today) one of my Women’s Leadership Project students wondered why “we hadn’t heard of her” if she was so significant. This was raised in a class where the girls (most of whom are sexual and/or domestic violence survivors) struggled deeply with self-love, sexual identity and colorist hostility. When I was growing up the majority of the black women historical figures and leaders that I was exposed to was in literature provided to me by my parents. http://ow.ly/i/phvtS

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