The nine CGI partners came together on April 12 to host our largest number of attendees yet of over 650 girls and young women for this day-long conference in NYC. This gathering was a day of fun and inspiration, a culminating event for the Initiative in FY17. Keynote speakers included Stacey Tisdale, President and CEO of Mind Money Media, LLC and Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League. These powerful role models spoke to our theme of Leadership Through Activism through their own expertise:
“I really want them to be left with tools to stand up to all the conditioning they get about the roles women should play when it comes to money – some of these limiting perceptions and beliefs that the world has about us or that we take on ourselves – so I try to get them to learn how to witness some of these things so they can identify them to create financial lives that will allow them to be all that they can be. I don’t want them to get into the [mindset] girls are bad with money and don’t want them to start believing all those things about themselves.” – Stacey Tisdale, President & CEO of Mind Money Media and STARS CGI Key Note Speaker
The program also included a wildly successful youth activist panel including Kimberly Drew, Social Media Manager of the Met, Keisha Dutes, freelance producer, event host and media personality, Brittany Brathwaite, co-founder of KIMBRITIVE and The Homegirl Box, and Sade Swift, soon-to-be executive director at AfroResistence, who all spoke about leadership, activism, career exploration and their personal – professional paths to success.
The event included participant workshops like “Social Media 101: Building Your Brand for Success!”, “Digital Media for Change”, “Youth Power: Organizing and Advocacy for the Schools We Deserve” and others on topics like the college application process and financial literacy. Attendees also drafted recommendations on issues they feel strongly about as young women, such as all-girls sports teams led by female coaches, girl-focused mentoring programs and opportunities, more financial literacy and STEM classes, safe spaces to talk about hard topics, job and internship opportunities and wider support systems to build confidence and self-esteem to present to the City Council.
“I took a day out of my spring break to attend the 3rd Annual STARS Citywide Girls Leadership Summit and represent girl power. My main takeaway was hearing how the successful women speaking during our day got to where they wanted to be in life. From that experience, I’ve realized that it’s important to trust myself, break down my fears, and so much more. I saw what happens when young women come together and become united. It’s powerful, it’s magical, and I am proud to be a woman. Just getting out of bed and trying something new really gave me the motivation I need to keep pushing myself. Overall, I had a great time and I can’t wait until next year’s Summit.” – Jamara Codrington, STARS CGI Summit attendee
For more on our day, check out the BronxNet video coverage of the day here.