The Lower East Side Girls Club: Real Revolutionaries
By Erikka James
The Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC) is a community-based organization dedicated to preparing today’s girls for tomorrow’s world. LESGC’s mission is “to raise the next generation of environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leaders.” LESGC connects girls and young women to healthy and successful futures. We offer them “Joy. Power. Possibility,” so they know that they can do anything. Founded in 1996 by neighborhood mothers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community activists to address the lack of services and facilities for girls in our community, we now serve over 1000 girls and young women aged 10-23 annually.
The girls and young women in our program are using their voices and talents to create movements, demonstrations, art, music, and products that promote gender justice, barrier and ceiling dismantling, anti-violence, mental and physical wellness, environmental justice, civic and political engagement.
New Girl City: Agents of Change for NYC (“New Girl City”) is a new citywide girls leadership initiative created by LESGC supported by the New York City Council Speaker Initiative thanks to the support of the Women’s Caucus. The initiative was created in 2018 to build upon the Girls Club’s long-running social justice and civics initiatives. Designed to educate and activate future female leaders for New York City and beyond, New Girl City brings together female-identified young people (ages 14-21) across NYC to learn the symbiotic relationship between civics/public office and social justice by training in community organizing, issue analysis and solution development, and utilizing the arts, speech, and action to make an impact.
The key goals of New Girl City are to empower our participants to see “change agent’ and “leader” in themselves, and create a pipeline for young women to impact the social justice and policy world –whether it’s running for office, working for an elected office, becoming a community organizer, or using their passion for arts, science or education to bring attention to an issue they care about.
After hosting Road Map for Revolutionaries’ authors Elisa Camahort Page and Jamia Wilson for a book talk in fall 2018, we decided to use the book as a resource for New Girl City: Agents of Change. Not only did all 60 participants go home with their own copy, but they drew ideas, references, and inspiration from the beautifully designed chapters and infographics of the young changemaker guide.
How to use Social Media to Raise Awareness, A Local, State, and Federal Government Org Chart, Art and Advocacy, and Why Marches and Protests Matter were just a few sections that spoke to our members. We look forward to distributing Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All to more young activists as New Girl City expands to all five boroughs and beyond.
Erikka James is the Director of Leadership and Global Programs at The Lower Eastside Girls Club.
Your Personal Road Map to Being an Effective Changemaker
An Evening Workshop with Jamia Wilson and Elisa Camahort featuring their book
Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
To learn more and register, click here.