Young black woman studying and smiling.

Fight for Our Girls

Changing the narrative about girls of color in public systems

This project is no longer active, but we believe that the outcomes and resources generated through the work are still of value.

What We Work For

We worked to improve outcomes for girls of color in public systems.

Child welfare and juvenile justice systems have historically struggled to support girls of color, often undermining rather than facilitating their ability to thrive. Girls of color who commit minor offenses—also known as “status offenses” which include running away, missing school, and violating curfew—are often seen as social problems. They are punished at levels disproportionate to their relatively minor offenses.

How We Do It

We recognize the power that words have. Our efforts focused on shifting the narrative around negative stereotypes about girls of color who commit status offenses.

Through resources, technical assistance, social good campaigns, and a growing network of invested partners, we worked to create programs and policies that were developmentally centered, trauma-informed, and support the well-being of young women and girls of color involved in various public systems.

Through this work, outcomes of young women and girls of color involved with public systems were improved and policies supporting them were trauma-informed and promoted their well-being.

Fight for Our Girls

By recognizing the trauma that impacts many incarcerated women of color and the structural racism that underpins our public systems, we worked to make policy and practice changes that reduced disparities and disproportionality within this group.  

We worked to:

Connect systems to policies, partnering with policymakers, practitioners, and state agencies to help improve the outcomes of young women and girls of color involved with public systems and ensure policies supporting them are developmentally-centered, trauma-informed, and promote their well-being.

Employ a variety of tactics—including traditional and digital media—to dramatically shift harmful narratives that stereotype and disparage women and girls of color involved with public systems.

Mobilize partners to work with us in undoing structural racism that exists in systems.

Our goal was to arm policymakers, state agencies, and constituents with the tools needed to reform systems and popular perceptions about girls and women of color involved with systems.

  • Reduce recidivism
  • Improve workforce readiness and placement
  • Reduce health, economic, and educational disparities
  • Build positive social-capital

During the time we conduced this work, we partnered with a coalition of national organizations, state and local leaders, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates. Through a national network, Fight for Our Girls engaged broadly with organizations and systems that impact the lives of young women and girls of color involved with public systems.