#SOULSistersTakeLead – Issues Important to our Youth Leaders


This year’s theme #SOULSistersTakeLead is in honor of all proceeds of our fundraiser being redirected to our Youth Leader Board members’ stipends. By increasing their ability to participate in the YLB, we aim to provide more youth-led programs and initiatives for NYC and Miami. For this Giving Tuesday, our Youth Leaders in Miami and NYC were tasked to research facts and stories on social justice issues affecting their communities on a local or national scale. Here are some findings:


School to Prison Pipeline

In 2007, Pleajha Mervin was harmed by a California school security officer after she dropped a piece of cake on the school’s cafeteria floor and refused to pick it up.

In 2013, Ashlynn Avery, a sixteen-year-old diabetic girl in Alabama, fell asleep while reading Huckleberry Finn during her in-school suspension. When she did not respond, the suspension supervisor allegedly threw a book at her and ordered her to leave the classroom. As she was leaving the room, a police officer allegedly slammed her face into a file cabinet and then arrested her.

One in three participants in Girls for Gender Equity’s “Schools Girls Deserve” study reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment at school. In the same study, 50% of youth reported experiences of control of their gender expression and/or identity, particularly when they did not seem to meet white feminine beauty standards or norms.


Gun Violence

More than 80% of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.

Nearly 20 American children are shot in an average day.

In 2010, guns were used in 11,078 homicides in the United States.


Respectability Politics

In 2008, Marché Taylor was arrested in Texas after she resisted being barred from prom for wearing a dress that was considered too revealing.

Why does this matter? Why does it matter that a black woman with lighter skin is portraying a black character with dark skin? Why does it matter that some of the most popular black actresses are light-skinned? Because it indicates that Hollywood still overwhelmingly believes that a black woman must possess non-black ancestry or features to be considered beautiful or valuable.



Gentrification usually leads to negative impacts such as forced displacement, a fostering of discriminatory behavior by people in power, and a focus on spaces that exclude low-income individuals and people of color.

Since 2001, median rent prices in New York City role by 75%. One tactic landlords employ is refusing to pay for repairs and upgrades to an apartment in hopes that the tenants will move and they can renovate the unit for wealthier residents.

Where people live, work, and play has an impact on their health. In being pushed out of their former neighborhoods by displacement, changes that may occur to poor communities of color include limited access to the following: affordable healthy housing, healthy food choices, transportation choices, and quality schools.


Support our youth as we collectivize to battle these issues & donate today! 




Pushout by Monique Morris

Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected by Dr. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

“Chapter 2: Firearm Deaths” by the Pew Research Center

“7 Reasons Why Gentrification Hurts” by Everyday Feminism

“The Other Side of Gentrification: Health Effects of Displacement” by Making Cities Liveable

Schools Girls Deserve report by Girls for Gender Equity

“Hollywood’s Colorism Problem Can’t Be Ignored Any Longer” by Teen Vogue