AFRO GIRLS DAY 2020
Despite everything that has happened this year, our girls have persevered, proving to be leaders through it all!
Afro Girls Day 2020: Leaders Unlimited was on Saturday, October 10th! In honor of International Day of the Girl, we hosted a 30-minute virtual event, jam packed with encouraging messages to our girls from fellow Afro Girls, changemakers and impact influencers around the world in honor of International Day of the Girl.
We also be honored the recipient of our Changemaker of the Year Award, Founder of Malaika Noëlla Coursaris Musunka.
INSPIRING MESSAGES FROM TRAILBLAZING GIRLS AND WOMEN
Kaitlyn (The Skate Kid) is a 9-year-old figure skater from Washington, D.C. She was a gymnast and dancer who discovered her love of figure skating right before she turned 7. Finding joy and comfort in figure skating, she made a series of skating videos expressing her hopes for the future. Soon, a video of her skating on Black Lives Matter Plaza became viral with more than 8 million views on social media.
Kaitlyn would like to encourage other kids to use their talents and voices to make positive change in the world.
Founder, For Queens Only
As a big believer in empowering girls through education and technology, Maya founded the For Queens Only organisation in her first year of university after seeing firsthand how much potential is lost when girls are denied an education, (she's lived in Nigeria for 17 years). Although, she’s very ambitious and involved in many activities, she understands the importance of rest and when she feels discouraged (life happens right?) , she reminds herself that “if you don’t try , you don’t win”.
When she’s not thinking of ways to improve the lives of young girls in Africa, she’s either working on her French or designing something on Figma :)
NOËLLA COURSARIS MUSUNKA
Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, a Congolese/Cyriot philanthropist and international model, is the Founder & CEO of Malaika, a grassroots nonprofit that works to educate and empower girls and communities in her home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fiercely proud of her African heritage, her determination to help improve the lives of Africa’s youth has made her an international advocate for their welfare. Noëlla founded Malaika in 2007, and this community-driven approach acts as a model that can be replicated on a global level. Today, Malaika’s education and health programs are impacting thousands of people’s lives and are all offered free of charge. Malaika’s work has three components: an accredited school that provides a quality education to 370 girls; a community center that offers a range of programs to 5,000+ youth and adults; and, a clean water program that has built and refurbished 20 wells to supply fresh water to over 35,000+ people each year. Noëlla is an advisor at Concordia and has shared her insight at a number of world-class forums spanning the World Economic Forum in Davos to the university halls of Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, and MIT. In 2017, she was named one of BBC’s 100 Most Influential & Inspirational Women of the Year, and in 2018, she received an award at the 100 Years of Mandela celebration. She is an Ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Noëlla is the 2020 Afro Girls Changemaker of the Year
Mental Health Consultant
Somiari Fubara CCTP, CCATP, CMHIMP is a certified clinical adolescent and trauma professional, a certified integrative medicine provider, and a certified breath, body, and mind teacher. She was born and raised in Nigeria, but has lived the US for over 30 years. Her areas of concentration include trauma, mindfulness, holistic medicine, and spirituality. Somiari is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the field of clinical psychology who divides her time between clinical practice, training, workshops, and consulting.
From May 2014 until 2020, she counseled Chibok girls that escaped Boko Haram. For about a year, she was the psychologist at American University of Nigeria for 120 Chibok girls kidnapped and released by Boko Haram. She also did consulting work for the GEANCO Foundation as a part of the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Boko Haram survivors. She is an advisor, and board member for No Limit Generation, and from March 2019 until present she has been a consultant for the Andrew and Ann Tisch Foundation providing overall care for two released and severely injured Chibok girls in New York.
Somiari has been interviewed by CNN, The New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Reuters, BBC, 60 minutes, and Aljareeza for her work with the Chibok Girls.
As a trauma thriver, her life experiences have fostered her love of, and dedication to the healing of humanity. Through her work, she is enriching the world through love, healing, and peace.
Entrepreneur + Aspiring Chemical Engineer, Coily Girl Detanglers
Khloe-Rose's Coily Girl Detangler is the brainchild of then 9 year-old aspiring Chemical Engineer Khloe-Rose Owens who was hoping to make wash-day less painful for her, and less time-consuming for her mom. After enrolling in her school's S.T.E.A.M. Fair, she used the scientific method to engineer the perfect all-natural plant and fruit-based detangling hair treatment that has proven to make wash-day less stressful for kinky, curly and coily girls!
Poet + Gender Rights Activist
Karimot Odebode is a Poet, whose work of art amplifies women and society, writer and youth activist from Nigeria, who is driven by her commitment to social justice.
She was a two time Youth Champion for ONE Campaign (2018/2019) where she advocated for a world free of poverty and inequality, and is one of the 45 female African activists that signed the open letter for the fight against gender inequality which was addressed and presented to world leaders.
Karimot has over four years’ experience in community development where she partners with several NGO's towards achieving the sustainable development goals. She is also the Project Lead for The Black Girl’s Dream Initiative – a youth led organization that is bridging the gender gaps in local communities through education, advocacy and sensitization.
She was the recipient of the Young Achievers Nigeria Award for the Outstanding Poet Of The Year. She was also shortlisted for the Africa Writers Award and the Her Network 2019 “The Woman Of The Future” award for her work in development and activism. She was long listed for the Alpine Poetry Prize 2019.
Author + Founder, Michelle Nkamankeng Foundation
Michelle is from Johannesburg, South Africa. At the age of 6, she developed interest in writing which led to her writing (in secret mostly) her first 2 books – Waiting For The Waves and The Little Girl Who Believes in Herself; which made her Africa’s youngest writer and amongst the top 10 youngest writers in the world. She has since written and published a number of other books, to which she has received multiple awards and endorsements from the Department of Education and schools in the country.
As a child/youth activist and philanthropist across Africa and the globe, her
passion to empower other children and youths through education, literacy and beyond led
her to start the Michelle Nkamankeng Foundation in November 2016 after an emotionally
touching visit to the Township in Johannesburg in September 2016. Through her foundation
she has been able to give motivational talks and workshops to pupils in many schools , Churches, conferences, seminars around South Africa.
Michelle is the inaugural winner of many awards, including the 2016 Girl of Promise Mbokodo Award and 1 of 5 UNICEF’s 2016 global selected writers on tiny stories for children and the 2018 Gauteng Premier Women’s Excellence Award for the Girl Child category. Michelle was also the winner of the youth diplomacy Ubuntu award by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation which the President of South Africa awarded her as the youngest recipient of the Ubuntu Award at the age of 11-years-old.
Michelle is caring, passionate, and outgoing with an independent personality who never gives up easily and never lets anything stand in her way.
LEAP OF DANCE ACADEMY
Leap of dance Academy is a dance educational organisation in Nigeria, established to develop and build talents through the art of promoting dance culture in education.
Changemaker and Boko Haram Survivor
Grace is a survivor of the 2014 Boko Haram kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. Today, along with Rebecca, she is an inspiration to many around the world, encouraging girls and women to believe in themselves, never give up on their dreams and to realize the importance of education.
Changemaker and Boko Haram Survivor
Rebecca is a survivor of the 2014 Boko Haram kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. Today, along with Grace, she is an inspiration to many around the world, encouraging girls and women to believe in themselves, never give up on their dreams and to realize the importance of education.
Tamika is an esteemed social justice advocate, leader and activist. She was one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women's March, for which she and her three other co-chairs were recognized in the Time 100 that year. Mallory is a proponent of gun control, feminism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
*Afro Girls Day Archives: We met Tamika in Boston during the 2017 Forbes Under 30 event. She shared why girls are strong.
Poet, Activist, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador + Founder
Emi s a Sudanese-American poet and activist, who won the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam championship. In 2018, she became UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, and in this capacity, has traveled to refugee camps in Kenya, Greece and Jordan, drawing wider attention to the situation of refugees. She has received numerous awards for her work and has worked with several world leaders.
*Afro Girls Day Archives: We met Emi in Boston during the 2017 Forbes Under 30 event. She shared why girls are powerful.
Model, Activist + Founder, Stand for Education
Mari is a successful Model/DJ and Actress in New York City. She is also the founder of "Stand For Education," a non- profit organization dedicated to empowering girls and providing access to education for underprivileged children.
*Afro Girls Day Archives: We met Mari in New York during the 2017 United Nations General Assembly. She shared why girls and women are powerful.
Founder, Afro Girls Lead
Tokunbo is a Product Manager and the founder of Afro Girls Lead, which inspires girls around the world to be leaders, innovators and changemakers through education initiatives.
AFRO GIRLS DAY 2019
Our very first Afro Girls Day was a digital celebration of African girl excellence worldwide! In honor of #DayoftheGirl, our 2019 theme was SuperGirls of Africa! We highlighted our favorite girls, doing awesometastic work across Africa.