In the News
Activists rally at Liberty High School in solidarity with student slammed by Osceola deputy
By CRISTÓBAL REYES and LESLIE POSTAL
ORLANDO SENTINEL | FEB 05, 2021
More than a dozen activists rallied Friday outside Liberty High School near Poinciana to support Taylor Bracey, the 16-year-old student slammed by Osceola school resource Deputy Ethan Fournier. Read more here.
Statement: S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective Outraged by Violent Assault by Rochester Police Department
S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective and our allies are responding to this latest act of violence by the Rochester Police Department, in line with our commitment to the liberation and protection of Black and Indigenous Girls and TGNC young people of color throughout New York State. While interventions to address state and police violence often focus on Black men & boys, this is a dehumanizing, retraumatizing reminder of what we have always known to be true; that in order to actualize true racial & gender justice, we must widen our scope to include Black girls & TGNC young people. Recent research demonstrates how uniquely vulnerable Black girls are as a result of disparities in adult perception; specifically, we see how those granted the authority to enact violence against our communities view Black girls as dangerous adults in need of detaining, instead of children in need of nurturing. This adultification leads to the horrific violence we saw in Rochester last week. Read more here.
S.O.U.L. Sisters Speak During Black Girls Day at the Capitol
On February 27, 2020 Diarra Smith, a memeber of S.O.U.L. Sisters shared a personal story surrounding her relationship with the juvenile injustice system, as well as a need for policy changes, during a conference held in the Sunshine State’s capitol for Black Girls Day. This was a powerful moment that was captured on camera and featured in the Tallahassee Democrat. A few of S.O.U.L. Sisters’ girls and women were highlighted in the 20+ photo spread that you can see here.
S.O.U.L. Sisters Featured In Georgetown University’s World Social Justice Day Article!
S.O.U.L Sisters Quoted in WLRN News Article
Janitors in Miami have been protesting and speaking out to get higher wages. Many are receiving minimum wage and express to the public that minimum wage is not a livable salary. During a protest for janitors at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) journalists asked Logan Meza, SOUL Sisters Lead Organizer, for their thoughts. Logan expressed that “People need to get paid and make sure that they have enough to be able to provide for their family,” she said. “And if it’s just the custodial staff that’s out here, it makes it easier to be ignored.” Continue reading the full article here.
S.O.U.L. Sisters Featured In Miami New Times For International Working Women’s Day!
We are excited to announce that SSLC is featured in the Miami New Times‘ article today for International Women’s Day, titled “Seven Miami Organizations to Support on International Women’s Day.” Click HERE to read the article!
S.O.U.L. Sisters reclaims International Working Women’s Day to commend the labor and progress achieved by women, girls, and femmes for justice and liberation. Our work grows from the legacies of our radical Black, Brown, and indigenous ancestors and elders through our pillars of social justice, leadership, healing, and the arts all day every day. ✊?✊?✊?
Cops Already Patrol These Students’ Schools. It Doesn’t Make Them Feel Safer.
Rebecca Klein of the Huffington Post published an article on the march for Black Women, organized by SSLC.
“Victoria Byfield knows exactly what it’s like to show up to school and get treated as a suspect instead of a student. Now a student at Miami Dade College, she recalls walking to high school in the morning and seeing students getting questioned outside about their recent whereabouts. It felt like she was witnessing an interrogation.” Read the full article here.
Support SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective on International Women’s Day!
The Miami New Times published an article about what organizations to support for International Women’s Day, and SOUL Sisters made the list! Taylor Estape writes:
“Organizing in both New York City and South Florida, the S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective supports leadership among girls and nonbinary youth of color. Ongoing work involves direct engagement with middle- and high-school–aged femmes in the foster care, juvenile, mental-health, and other systems to promote social entrepreneurship, social justice education, and healing. In South Florida, S.O.U.L. Sisters works directly with the Miami Black Girls Matter Coalition through a youth leaders board.
You can provide support for the S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective in several ways. On the planning committee for the BOOM: Assembly for Black Women and Girls, it’s organizing fundraising through a CrowdRise page. Wakumi Douglas, cofounder and executive director at S.O.U.L. Sisters, explains the assembly is “focused on electoral politics and voting rights for black women and girls and building on black women and girls’ political platform approaching the 2018 elections.”
S.O.U.L. Sisters is also always looking for volunteers, especially artists and professionals for project support and mentoring. Support for event, administrative, and operations work are also options for anyone interested in getting involved.
“Young people already have so much power,” Douglas says. “I think empowerment puts a lot of power on the the adults. We don’t see our work that way. We ask them: ‘What do you see in your community that you want to change? How do you want to do that? What do you need?’ We really take our leadership from them.”
To volunteer with the S.O.U.L. Sisters, contact Wakumi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Young women and gender-nonconforming youth interested in getting involved with the Miami Black Girls Matter Coalition can contact Angela at email@example.com.”
WFSU Public Media’s Davondra Alston reported on Black Girls Day at the Miami Capitol.
The recent Black Girls Day at the Capitol was the first to highlight minority women’s economic issues in Florida. Several organizations want improvements on education and better access to health care. The Sisters Organizing for Understanding and Leadership Group and other minority groups want state representatives to focus on improvements in education. S.O.U.L. Sister member Tajarah Surin says public schools in southern Florida have a lack of resources.
Read the full article here.
Logan Meza, SOUL Sisters Youth Community Organizer, speaks about economic inequality among trans youth at Femme Agenda Conference in Miami, FL.
Healing Spaces For Racial Trauma After Police Involved Shootings:
Many thanks to our 2017 Restorative Justice Training Fellows!
We took part in “Reimagining Safety: an urgent conversation about the movements centering girls of color” hosted by the NoVo Foundation in June, 2017
We hosted a SOUL Model training in the summer of 2017
Being A Girl and Justice 101 Workshops ~ July 21, 2016
We gave two workshops (Being A Girl and Justice 101) at the Miami Girls Rock Camp on Miami Beach! Learn more about Girls Rock Camp here!
Community Circle for Black Lives ~ July 9, 2016
We hosted a healing circle, which was attended by over 200 people, in light of the recent police killings. The event page can be found here. #blacklivesmatter.
SOUL Swag ~ April 13, 2016
We hosted an end-of-the-year exhibit and performance evening, Soul Swag! The evening featured photography taken by the middle school participants of our Sisterhood Academy program, as well as spoken word, music, singing, and story telling by NYC community organizers and Columbia University School of Social Work students. We had over 80 attendees, 11 youth participants, and 34 visual artists. Take a look at photos here.
Beyond the Bars Conference ~March 2016
Youth Leaders Board members led the youth panel discussion at Columbia University’s Beyond the Bars annual conference. Read more about it here!!
Black Girls Matter (BGM) Youth on WLRN
Youth Leaders Board (YLB) member Jazandrea Byrdsong lit up the mic to speak about why black girls matter and the important work that was done during the Black Girls Matter Circles (BGMC) and the final leadership summit! Listen to the interview here!
Black Girls Matter (BGM) Coalition on Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF) Podcast
Our Co-Founder & Executive Director, Wakumi Douglas, and Miami based Youth Community Organizer, Logan Meza, spoke about what we actually mean when we say “Black Girls Matter” and what it looks like to actually show up for young people in an effective manner! Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud here!
We hosted SOUL Models 101 at CASES & the New York Women’s Foundation
Featured in Fem2pt0! ~ Feb. 2016
Our “SOULful Fashion and Business” was featured on fem2pt0! Check out the blogpost here!
Holiday Fundraiser ~ Dec. 2015
We raised over $3,000 with our holiday fundraising campaign!
Named 2015 Heroes ~ Nov. 2015
In November, S.O.U.L. Sisters was honored with the 2015 IOBY Hero Award.
Week of Action ~ Oct. 2015
SSLC members in NYC and Miami participated in the Dignity in Schools Campaign Week of Action.
Art of Healing ~ Oct. 2015
We published our FIRST ZINE entitled, Sankofa: The Healing Addition. Check it out HERE!
IOBY Blog ~ July 2015
Check out the gracious blog post written about us!
Fundraising Success! ~ June 2015
We raised over $12,000 in our grassroots fundraising campaign! Thank you to all of our donors and to our fiscal sponsor, IOBY.
#BlackGirlsMatterMIA ~ May 2015
Members of our team co-organized the #BlackGirlsMatterMIA town hall attended by hundreds.
Transformative Practices Conference – March 2015
Co-Founders & YLB/NYC members presented at the Transformative Practices & Restorative Justice Conference at Lehman College.