Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Brownsville Girl's Collaborative and Young Women's Collective Sisterhood Retreat

On Saturday November 4, 2017 the 2017-2018 cohort of the Brownsville Girls Collaborative (BGC) and Young Women’s Collective (YWC) headed to YMCA Camp Bernie for their annual sisterhood retreat.  The Brownsville Girls Collaborative and the Young Women's Collective employs an 8-month Rites of Passage program model, focused on sisterhood, leadership development and community engagement for young women ages 15-18 and 19-24. Through the program, young women embark on an 8-month journey of sisterhood, developing their inner selves and building healthy relationships with others and their community

The BGC begins with a weekend long sisterhood retreat, focused on leadership development, self-reflectioncommunication, and team-building. Over the course of the weekend, participants also complete their first sisterhood ritual. These rituals utilize components of Rites of Passage programming, including call and response, communal vision planning, and a pledge to support each other and themselves. At the end of the retreat, both BGC and YWC members become official members of the sisterhood.

Over the next 8-month, each program will be identifying issues that most impact women, co-creating space to support Brownsville girls growth and holistic healing, and working to create small and large scale events for the larger community. Be on the lookout for more details! As for now, check out some highlights below. 

If you have any questions regarding the Brownsville Girls Collaborative or Young Women’s Collective, please contact Tiara McLaughlin at tmclaughli@nycourts.gov or Sherrell Whitmire at swhitmire@nycourts.gov .

Brownsville Girls Summit: Celebrating Sisterhood and Empowerment

The Brownsville Girls Collaborative and Young Women's Collective hosted it's first annual Brownsville Girls Empowerment Summit. The Brownsville Girls Summit focused on creating spaces of connection, inspiration and holistic healing for young women in the Brownsville community. The summit included a mixture of community events, workshops and social activities. 


Throughout the week, over 55 girls from the community, ages 15-24 participated in a variety of empowerment events, interactive workshops, and ended the week spearheading a community wide service project. The ladies were given the space to learn practical approaches to holistic healing, form invaluable connections, and promote community wide healing.
 Pizza, Paint and Sip
On Day 1 of the Summit, Jocelyn Goode from Culture Cocoa Art house, engaged participants in a two-hour paint work shop where they created personal pieces of self-exploration. The young ladies were able to design drawings that embodied their definition of sisterhood and beauty.

The girls preparing their canvasses

The girls sip "mock"tails as they create masterpieces!

Whitney and her sister show off their amazing face paint.

Say Cheese! Sherrell and Diamond show off their nice face paint.

Emoji Love!

The girls add finishing touches on their pieces.

The girls mingle as they paint.

Professional Jocelyn Goode from Culture Cocoa.

Summit Day


On the second day of the summit, the young ladies participated in workshops that focused on money management, fitness, social emotional wellness, and beauty/identity. Women experts in each respective field facilitated meaningful workshops that included guided group discussion and energizing activities.
The girls participate in the morning icebreaker.

Fitness workshop

Social and emotional wellness workshop.

Beauty and Identity workshop.

KIMBRITIVE talks to the ladies about relationships.

Spread Love the Brownsville Way

The final day of the summit culminated in a community-wide girls empowerment event. With over 200 people in attendance, the young women aimed to create a day of  community celebration where community members could access a space for connectivity, engagement and cultural celebration. The aim was to intentionally spread positive narratives of womanhood, and to challenge the stigma associated with being from Brownsville. Throughout the day, the young ladies took the lead on engaging their community through activities, music, and giveaways.  
Double dutch competition.

Brownsville Girls Collaborative plants flowers.

DJ smiley on the 1s and 2s.

Spread love its the Brownsville way!

Armonie and Christina pose for the camera.

Sidewalk chalk is always a hit.

Connect four!

Overall the summit was a space of learning, self-exploration, community love and growth. If you are interested in learning more about the Brownsville Girls Collaborative or Young Women’s Collective, please contact Tiara McLaughlin tmclaughli@nycourts.gov   or Jasmine Bowie jbowie@nycourts.gov.