GIRLS LIKE US
EMBRACE - ENLIGHTEN - EMPOWER
Girls Like Us (G.L.U) is an empowerment group for young women, focusing on the betterment, enrichment, and empowerment of Brown & Black Girls. Based at West End Neighborhood House, this program educates over 150 girls weekly between the ages 8-15 on various topics, from safety to interpersonal skills. Despite their differences, all activities foster a sense of community among the participants. The initiative provides a safe space for girls to discuss feelings, school, self-care, and more. The ultimate aim is to educate and empower girls from underserved communities, equipping them with the tools and confidence to advocate for themselves.
Bayard Middle School
Delaware Nature Society
Pulaski Elementary School
Serviam Girls Academy
The Terry Center
West End Neighborhood House
WHAT WE DO
Changing the narrative while advancing Black Girls by providing experience, education, and opportunity to uplift and advocate for themselves.
WHO WE SERVE
Girls Like Us (G.L.U) is dedicated to supporting girls from underserved communities impacted by adultification, often stemming from homes with absent parents, substance abuse, and/or incarceration. Through weekly sessions, G.L.U focuses on self-love, self-care, empowerment, development, and prevention. The program also features "Lunch and Learn" field trips, Black Girls Empowered Week, and the Young Women’s Leadership Summit.
HOW WE SERVE
Girls Like Us (G.L.U) establishes a trauma-responsive environment, fostering social and emotional learning to heal Black Girls. Through evidence-based programs, the initiative promotes life skills, character values, and resistance skills to counter negative peer influences.
Mentorship - Enrichment - Healing Space - Healing though Art
Girls Like Us (G.L.U) introduces the ideologies of intersectionality and adultification, fostering a deeper understanding that Black Girls embody multiple identities to be embraced. Pairing them with mentors from similar backgrounds emphasizes the potential for progress beyond one's origins. Through advocacy for change and improved resource access, G.L.U aims to empower Black Girls not only to navigate Blackgirlhood but to thrive in it.
Let Our Girls Be Girls
Adultification involves children being exposed to adult knowledge and engaging in behaviors understood as adult-like (such as taking on caregiving or provider roles in the family). The child transitions to adult-like personas/family roles, typically driven by a necessary dependence on them to meet family daily survival needs and limited housing options. This is often with limited guidance and is correlated with high poverty rates.
Based on ethnographic research with low-income families, Burton theorizes 4 stages of childhood adultification:
1) Precocious knowledge: witnessing situations and acquiring knowledge that is advanced for the child’s age; often become aware of financial situations and may share with other children or act on/emulate adult behaviors.
2) Mentored adultification: when a child assumes an adult role with limited supervision from an adult. Often allows the child to feel needed, appreciated, while mostly maintaining the parent-child authority hierarchy.
3) Peerification/spousification: when a child behaves more like a parent’s peer or spouse than like a parent’s subordinate (takes on the role of quasi wife, husband, or confidante). Peerification will become spousification when the child begins co-parenting or becoming a confidante.
4) Parentification: when a child assumes a full-time quasi-parent role to their siblings and parents. The most extreme cases are usually when parents are substance abusers, and the child must protect or take care of them as well as their siblings.
Why does childhood adultification happen to certain children in certain families?
Birth order and gender: eldest male often breadwinner, eldest female often homemakers/caretakers
Perceived early maturity and resilience
Specific family needs must be met: sibling care, elder care, jobs, financial management, emotional confidants, communication
Reduced parental family resources: inadequate quality time, unavailability, lack of psychological awareness, poor health
Reduced social family resources: lack of emotional and material resources from relationships and social networks
Strain on parents that pressure children to comfort their parents, help them
As Black Women strive for new heights, statistics reveal they face disproportionate health disparities, limited access to education, and underrepresentation in politics, both nationally and globally.
Black Girls and other Girls of Color often face subjective punishment and criminalization for their communication styles, expressions, and the traumas they've experienced. As policy leaders, it's crucial to advocate for resources, laws, policies, and practices fostering supportive learning environments. This ensures that all students have equal opportunities for success, addressing the historical impact of racist, sexist, and discriminatory practices on Black Girls and providing targeted services and supports for a lifetime of success.
WAYS TO HELP
Take Action Now
MAKE A DONATION
Show Your Support
Thank you for your support of Girls Like Us - G.L.U ! No contribution is too small. 100% of your contribution will go directly to our mission of changing the narrative while advancing Black Girls by providing experience, education, and opportunity to uplift and advocate for themselves. All donations are fully tax-deductible. * Be sure in to put Girls Like Us in the Gift note.
Help Us Soar
By partnering you will help bring attention and resources to girls from underserved communities who have fallen victim to adultification. We will work, learn and grow together, while drawing attention to the issue and advancing real change for Black Girls at every level.
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
Make an Impact
This is one of the simplest ways to help our cause. We believe the best way for our initiatives to be successful is for the community to actively get involved. This is an easy and efficient way of contributing to the great work we do at Girls Like Us. Get in touch with any questions about how you can volunteer your time today.
“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives”