Looking Back At Our History…
S.O.U.L. Sister’s Leadership Collective sunsetted the organization in December of 2022. S.O.U.L. Sisters was officially founded in Miami and New York City (NYC) by our co-founding Youth Leaders Board (YLB) members logan meza, Andralique Byrdsong, Jazandrea Byrdsong, Keisha Campbell, Jazzline Vergara, Joy Morin, Danelvi Rosario, Hannah Matias, Tenisha Hope, Hawa Adula, Silvia Albarracin, Savannah Reid, Catrina Wiltshire, Victoria Byfield, and adult co-founders Tanisha “Wakumi” Douglas and Caitlin Gibb.
Notable Dates and History
- Pilot program with systems-impacted girls launches in NYC
- Acceptance letters sent to the co-founding Youth Leadership Board (YLB) members
- YLB meetings begin. The foundation of SSLC is being set (logo design, mission, vision, principles, etc)
- The first local retreat is held with the Miami-based YLB to record footage to produce our first fundraising video
- The first Black Girls Matter Townhall happens at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center In Miami, FL
- Co-founding YLB member logan creates the concept for the Mobile Safe Space and it becomes a regular offering at events
- First National YLB retreat at Princeton Blairstown Center (NJ) and in NYC!
- SSLC wins our first award through IOBY!
- SSLC partners with PowerU Center for Social Change to host our first Dignity In Schools Week of Action event
- SSLC got our very first shirts to rep in community
- Participated in our first Giving Tuesday campaign
- Miami YLB leaders went on a field trip to see Angela Davis speak live in Miami
- Girls Prep Lower East Side Sisterhood Academy participants collaborated with Molly Shaheen to design high-quality leather clutches (#ShaheenxSOUL), partnered with Sweet Domino Designs to create original greeting cards, stickers, and tote bags, and Miami-based youth leaders board member logan meza (they/them) to create original t-shirt and hoodie designs! This was the first merch line launched by SSLC!
- The youth-run blog on our website launches!
- SSLC gives our first pitch at WePitch of our product line to start figuring out sustainable income to fund our work
- SSLC is invited to California for the Cadre Parents 15-year anniversary gala and takes to the streets!
- SSLC in collaboration with Miami Workers Center and PowerU Center for Social Change hosts a Community Circle for Black Lives for folks to process the most recent incidents of police violence
- SSLC is invited to the White House by the Obama-Biden administration
- SSLC hosted the first Black Femmes & Relationships circle to give Black femmes in Miami space to process and vent about the complexities of their relationships and our shared struggles and experiences
- SSLC begins Sisterhood Academy at HIVE Prep, the first official Sisterhood Academy site in Miami! During their time with us, they learned about fashion from the lens of social justice, sustainability, and innovation with a culminating $20 thrifting and runway challenge at a local thrift store. They even learned how to upcycle, make patches, make pillows, and screen print! (2016 – 2017 school year)
- SSLC, Miami Workers Center, Dream Defenders, and PowerU Center for Social Change continue the work of Black Girls Matter by hosting a series of circles throughout Miami-Dade County (North, Central, and South) to encourage Black girls to take up space, speak their truth, and co-create the Black Girls’ Bill of Rights with a culminating leadership summit
- SSLC holds down a youth space and graffiti wall at Miami Girls Rock Camp’s Carnival of Sounds in Wynwood
- SSLC flies to Orlando, FL to speak on two panels for the PACE Conference hosted by PACE Center for Girls
- SSLC hosts the Mobile Safe Space at a queer youth camp for the first time
- Sisterhood Academy started at our first site in Broward at AMI Kids of Greater Ft Lauderdale!
- SSLC hosts an overnight camping summer retreat for YLB leaders at Oleta River State Park in Miami, FL
- SSLC flies out to Oakland, CA to hold down a workshop at the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) 2017 conference
- SSLC hosts a youth RJ training to train another cohort of youth circle keepers
- SSLC in partnership with SpringUp develops a Gender Nonconforming Caucus (GNC Caucus) to create an intentional and inclusive space for Non-Binary and GNC folks as a subset of the YLB. This seed was planted when former YLB member Clio Kalliope (RIP) said that SSLC needs to create more intentional affinity spaces for TGNC youth
- SSLC, Dream Defenders, Miami Workers Center, PowerU Center for Social Change, and other local organizations, collectives, and leaders gather to co-organize the first Florida March for Black Women
- SSLC NYC YLB leaders mobilized to join the March for Black Women and March for Racial Justice in Washington, DC
- SSLC flies out to DC for National Crittenton’s In Solidarity for Girls Conference to hold down front porch conversations and a specialized workshop based on educating folks on how to how to support TGNC youth leaders in movement
- SSLC launches our holiday line of handmade jewelry and other items from our original #SOULLine to provide a way for community to purchase gifts that have a direct social impact
- SSLC has an end-of-the-year Kwanzaa celebration at Cultural Expressions by breaking bread together and taking part in a belly dance and drum circle
- SSLC drops a home movie-style recap YouTube video of our busiest year so far (shot and edited by logan meza)
- Black Girls Matter co-hosts the first Black Girls Day at the Capitol, mobilizing Black girls, femmes, women, elders, and gender-expansive folks from across the state of Florida to the capitol to lobby, mobilize, and take up space!
- Black Girls Matter co-hosts the first Candy & Consent dance to shift the narrative in South Florida around consent and pleasure education
- SSLC youth organizers fly out to Minneapolis for the Dignity In Schools 2018 conference to share space, build relationships, host workshops, and be in shared struggle and learning!
- SSLC launches the GNC Caucus, a program specifically for gender-expansive youth in South Florida!
- SSLC co-hosts the Here Comes the Boom Youth Summit to learn about social inequities in our electoral system, the 2018 midterm elections, and building political power!
- SSLC Miami-based Sisterhood Academy youth attend their first field trip to the Maroon Poetry Festival at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center
- Miami-based Youth Leaders Board members head to Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach for their annual summer retreat!
- Miami Girls Rock Camp invites SSLC Youth Leaders Board members to host workshops for their campers around gender and social justice!
- SSLC hosts their first celebration bbq themed “Welcome to Wakanda” to be in community, play with afro-futurism, and indulge in joy!
SSLC hops on a Greyhound to Sarasota, FL for the state-wide FRJA Restorative Justice Conference!
SSLC and BGM flies out to Puerto Rico for the Education Anew conference!
- SSLC hosts the first Radical Softness Institute to center our girls and gender expansive youth with Restorative Justice and divest from punitive punishment for the Dignity in Schools Week of Action!
- SSLC co-hosts and mobilizes for the Florida March for Black Women (to the Polls) to exercise our electoral power!
- SSLC co-hosts our second annual Candy & Consent dance in partnership with Planned Parenthood and SpringUp to continue to shift the narrative in South Florida around consent and pleasure education
- SSLC flies out to Nashville, Tennessee as a 2019 SheEO finalist!
- SSLC mobilizes to the 2019 Beyond the Bars Until She’s Free conference!
- NYC youth leaders host their first Say Her Magic Matters Summit at Columbia University!
- SSLC launches our sexual assault awareness month campaign called Your Truth is a Priotity!
SSLC launches KOFA (Knowing Our Freedom is Attainable), a brand new leadership and organizing space for gender expansive youth
- SSLC launches an emotional justice focused workshop series through Heart & S.O.U.L. in partnership with Infinite Ways Network!
- BGM hosts a 4-week Freedom Summer Institute for youth leaders in South Florida
- SSLC launches our #ProtectUs campaign – a campaign that centers healing and self advocacy through story sharing and community building. A campaign that demands the active protection of Black, Brown, and Indigenous folks, including those of the trans and non-binary experience. A campaign that demands protection in public and private, especially when it’s inconvenient, from additional trauma, unwanted advances, and those who perpetuate cycles of harm. A campaign that demands healing by any means necessary.
- SSLC is featured in Dr. Monique Morris’ film/documentary adaptation of her book PUSHOUT. SSLC flies out to DC for the official premiere and hosts a Miami premiere!
- SSLC joins the Miami Week of Action for Atatiana Jefferson in partnership with DreamDefenders, (F)empower, and Miami Workers Center
- BGM launches Ujima Leadership Collective – a two year social justice fellowship in partnership with Collective Resistance to learn about social justice and tell the untold stories of our people
- SSLC launches Black Girls Design Camp – a fashion for social change program!
- SSLC co-organizes and mobilizes to the FL capitol for Black Girls Day at the Capitol!
- SSLC flies out to London as a recipient of the With & For Girls Award for being one of the world’s most disruptive girls organizations!
- The COVID-19 Pandemic makes landfall in North America and SSLC joins a national emergency call other 315 other youth organizers to discuss problems, solutions, long term opportunities and demands in regards to the pandemic.
- SSLC starts hosting Virtual Vibes (weekly virtual programming), COVID assessment calls to meet the needs of young people in community at the height of the pandemic, and weekly IG lives!
- SSLC launches Roots, Rebirth, Revolution – our very first national and fully virtual intensive summer camp geared towards community organizing, leadership 101, healing, art, and more
- Our beloved Clio has been taken from us by gun violence. Our hearts are broken to have lost this living, breathing embodiment of love, joy and resilience. Our prayers and thoughts are with their loved ones who we join in deep grief & mourning. Let’s hold each other tighter, community.
- SSLC youth leaders represent at the virtual FreeHer Conference
- SSLC co-hosts the second annual Here Comes the BOOM conference!
- SSLC is a featured speaker at the virtual Syngeros Global Gathering to talk about power and representation in media
- SSLC & BGM drives to central FL to connect with Every Black Girl, FL Student Power Network, and other local organizations to mobilize around recent cases of abuse of Black girls by school resource officers
- SSLC celebrates our Founder’s Day with a throwback picture of our original co-founders from 2015!
- SSLC hosts our first in person event since the start of the pandemic – a decompression and healing space honoring Ma’Khia Bryant
- SSLC hosts our first-ever Black Joy Pop-Up in Brooklyn!
- SSLC hosts our Juneteenth-themed Black Joy Pop-Up and Back to School Wellness Zine
- SSLC hosts our second annual Black Girls Design Camp!
- Youth Social Entrepreneurship team takes youth leaders on a field trip to Berry Farms!
- SSLC hosts our third annual Girls Design Camp!
- Ujima Leadership Collective youth leaders graduate after two years of learning, studying, and being in community with each other!
- Ujima Leadership + Black Girls Matter Miami collaborate to create tarot cards inspired by community leaders and illustrated by youth artist
- SSLC hosts our Black Liberation Series on social media!