NEW ORLEANS (press release) –  The Collaborative for African-American Girls and Women (CAAGW), a powerhouse team of Black women leading organizations that serve black girls in the city of New Orleans, unveils “Let Black Girls Be…”, a new campaign created by Navigate NOLA. The social marketing campaign aims to dismantle racist and sexist attitudes towards black girls that give rise to disparities across the systems with which black girls interface. The campaign’s call to action is unique in that it positions behavior change as the product being marketed, calling on the community at large to shift historically negative attitudes towards black girls and black women to celebrating black girls and extending the same grace to black girls that is extended to their white counterparts throughout girlhood.

The campaign features billboards, located throughout the city of New Orleans, of black and white portraits of black girls, captured by documentary photographer Nina Robinson. The community at large is encouraged to participate in the campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.letblackgirlsbe.com, to create their own images, celebrating black women and black girls, and posting them to social media.

CAAGW is a consortium comprised of community-based organizations/projects that support African-American girls in the city of New Orleans. CAAGW works to address the ascending disparities in education, health and economics that African-American girls face. CAAGW utilizes a collective impact framework to evaluate the impact of programming across the partnering organizations that serve African-American girls in the city of New Orleans. CAAGW leads small-scale research initiatives to examine the experiences of African American girls and young women that can be brought to scale to better support a landscape that advances equity for African-American girls and women. CAAGW is comprised of the following organizations: 1.) Navigate NOLA, 2.) Project Butterfly New Orleans, 3.) The Orchid Society, 4.) Daughters Beyond Incarceration and 5.) The Beautiful Foundation.

CAAGW members, Dr. Danielle Wright and Dr. Rashida Govan, as part of this campaign, co-authored a book chapter, elevating the collective power of black women working with black girls, and the expected publishing date of the book is Fall 2022.

This summer, CAAGW will release a collective impact report, demonstrating the collective power of the collaborating organizations and their work, led by black women and centered in the experiences of black girls.

The “Let Black Girls Be…” campaign continues to provide educators, school based mental health professionals and youth serving community-based organizations with training and professional development that seek to expand their capacity to meet the unique needs of black girls, and to shift schools and communities to spaces of healing for black girls.