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We’ve Got a Lot to Celebrate this Weekend

Oct 9, 2020

Panelists from the Girls Breaking Borders: A Conversation w/ Girl Activists from Across the World panel on International Day of the Girl at the Grantmakers for Girls of Color funders convening in Puerto Rico on October 11, 2018. | Left to right: Tanisha Gaspar Clemente; Taller Salud, Shai Aikens, YWFC Alum & Member of the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition; Swatee Deepak, Social Justice Consultant, Former Director, Stars Foundation, Tokata Iron Eyes, Youth Leader; Thandiwe Diego, Youth Advisory Council, UNDP, Youth Advisory Group, United Nations Foundation Campaign, & Stann Creek National AIDS Commission.



We’re heading into a weekend with a lot to celebrate and reflect on.

Sunday, October 11, is International Day of the Girl, and Monday, October 12, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Both days provide us with important opportunities to lift up and listen to the girls and gender-expansive youth of color who are paving a path forward for all of us.

On Sunday, International Day of the Girl 2020, people around the world celebrate the way that girls are leading as change makers across the globe. The United Nations established this day in 2011 to focus on the unique challenges girls face in countries across the world. We know that achieving gender justice is essential to achieving human rights, racial justice, inclusion, economies that work for all, and a sustainable environment for future generations. Across all of these efforts, girls are the agents of change leading the way. We are honored to partner with and resource girls in the ways they deserve. Follow the #DayoftheGirl hashtag to learn more about the power of girls around the world.

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday October 12th, it is important for us to say clearly: Indigenous Peoples are not post-colonial. They have survived 528 years of colonization in the United States alone, and there are more than 500 million Indigenous Peoples, with diverse cultures, languages, histories and realities around the world. Each one of them deserves the right of self-determination.

G4GC honors Indigenous girls and gender-expansive youth who are leading efforts to achieve justice across the globe. One such incredible leader is Tokata Iron Eyes, who memorably spoke so beautifully on our Girls Breaking Barriers panel on International Day of the Girl two years ago; and reminded us that it was girls who were on the frontlines at Standing Rock. In 2016, at the age of 13, Tokata famously led her community in mobilizing against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She continues to use her powerful voice to demand global leaders take action on climate change, gender justice, and Indigenous rights.

Below are just a few of our incredible grantee partners who focus on serving Indigenous girls and gender expansive youth. We encourage our colleagues in philanthropy to learn more about their work, listen to their leadership, and support these organizations financially.

Indigenous Vision
→ Indigenous Vision works to revitalize Indigenous communities, culture, people, and land, by providing educational resources through quality programs that promote well-being. They envision a unified world of empowered Indigenous people and communities where future generations are ensured healthy environments and strong cultures by honoring the traditions and knowledge of our ancestors.

National Compadres Network
→ The mission of the National Compadres Network is to strengthen and re-root the capacity of individuals, families and communities to honor, rebalance, and redevelop the authentic identity, values, traditions and indigenous practices of Chicano, Latino, Native, Raza and other communities of color as the path to the honoring of all their relations and lifelong wellbeing. National Compadres Network established the Xinachtli Comadres National Colectiva, a national network of grassroots organizations and allies creating greater opportunities to lift Latina and Indigenous girls’ voices while promoting social and emotional learning. Xinachtli training is an indigenous, culturally based female rites of passage program that provides a supportive process for young girls to develop a positive identity, life skills and support system.

Project 562
→ Created by Matika Wilbur, Project 562 is a multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States resulting in an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans. This creative, consciousness-shifting work will be widely distributed through national curricula, artistic publications, exhibitions, and online portals.

Pūʻā Foundation
→ Pūʻā Foundation’s motto is “Trauma to transformation, incarceration to independence.” They strive to reduce recidivism, end the over-representation of Native Hawaiian women in prison, and serve families affected by trauma and incarceration.

In the words of G4GC Advisory Board Member Tia Oros Peters, Chief Executive Officer of Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples:

“Indigenous women and girls are the embodiment of Mother Earth. They personify her beauty, power, resilience, and enduring strength. Indigenous women and girl’s organizing and actions are consistently multi-generationally, and community wide; holistically engendering healing, well being, and empowerment.”

This weekend, I’ll be taking heart listening to and celebrating the wisdom of our girls.

In community,

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Grantmakers for Girls of Color