Hey, Wassup Hello!
If you’re new here that’s Brittany (protector of black girl magic) on the left and Kimberly (our resident trap scholar) on the right. We’re both on a life-long journey for knowledge and we’ve made pit stops in Public Health, Social Work, Psychology, and Women, Gender & Human Sexuality Studies so far. We’re also the best of friends and pretty much sisters. We did not know each other until college, but we grew up about 3 miles from each other in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, New York. Here, we experienced many challenges as young black girls that called us to our life’s mission.
Like many public schools across the country, Kimberly did not have any formal sex education and instead relied on Google and her just as curious and ill-informed friends for information on her changing body and thoughts. When discussing sexually transmitted diseases with a physician, she was informed that “only nasty girls get STDs” and that she “doesn’t have anything to worry about”. She left the doctor’s office with more questions than she did answers.
On the other side of town, Brittany was attending a Catholic school with sex-education far out of her reach. After seeing a sign offering free Metrocards, Brittany wandered aimlessly into a mobile HIV-testing unit parked on the corner of her street one day. It was here that she would learn for the first time at age 17 about HIV and STD’s. Brittany left the testing unit angry, feeling like she had been robbed of vital information about her health.
We often wondered:
"Who can young people rely on for safe, destigmatized and medically accurate information about their changing bodies and thoughts?"
Our experiences as young people propelled us to become the change we wanted to see in the world.
"Some chase paper, we create change."
In 2010, we met at Syracuse University as members of a student-led organization dedicated to educating Black and Latino students about healthy sexual practices and behaviors. After taking on leadership positions in this organization, we realized we were called to do this work. We graduated college in 2013, and went on to graduate school to continue the same work that inspired the 16 and 17-year-old versions of ourselves.
We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
We met every Tuesday (after class and/or work) at a local Starbucks in Brooklyn to dream, manifest and create. We dreamed of creating spaces for brave and important conversations that were authentic, purposeful and unapologetic. In just nine short months, we would then bring our dreams & workshops in front of over 400 youth & young adults across the state of New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania and over 430 youth service providers and sex educators in California, Virginia, Georgia, Ohio & New York. We’ve also shared our work on digital platforms such as podcasts, webinars, radio stations, and online publications reaching audiences across the nation. In 2015, we received recognition from the Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams for our diligent work educating young people in New York City about the HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as our actions to establish partnerships and alliances with youth and youth-serving organizations to end the HIV pandemic among young people.
And the rest is herstory.
These days we are fueled with passion to continue pursuing our mission to create spaces to have real conversations with the goal of educating and empowering communities about sexual health, reproductive justice and everything in between! We are extremely thankful for all the communities we’ve been fortunate to build with. We hope to continue developing and leading workshops, providing training, offering consultation services, and spreading our Black Girl Magic ;-) with you!
“Where there is a woman there is magic”
- Ntozake Shange
We hope you’ll join us in making this world a better place!
Peace, Love & Traphistication,
Brittany and Kimberly