“The big work that philanthropy has to do is in organizing other philanthropists. To understand the importance of undoing this current system, so that we can actually innovate. For putting philanthropists’ feet to the fire, around what it means to make long term commitments to this work, understanding and really deepening their commitment. And then also partnering. Partnering, partnering, partnering with people who know the work, who are doing the work everyday.” Wakumi Douglas, Co-founder and Executive Director of S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective
Overview of Podcast
Black women are the fastest-growing demographic in entrepreneurship, but the systems in place create a barrier for funding. How do we do bold work that contributes to women and girls of colour in the mainstream world of business? S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective supports new leaders that have “lived and breathed” the inequalities of our legal, educational, and economic systems.
In this episode
Vicki Saunders sits down with Wakumi Douglas, Co-founder and Executive Director of S.O.U.L Sisters, to talk about:
- The crisis in our community, nation, and globally for girls of colour, indigenous girls, girls in the global south and non-binary youth including:
- The fastest-growing prison population.
- More likely to experience sexual violence.
- In terms of mental health, more likely to attempt suicide.
- Higher unemployment rate.
- Missing girls.
- How survival is instinctual in their culture that leads to entrepreneurship
- What the spirit of resistance is and how it manifests itself to fight poverty and access funds.
- The importance of teaching skills to girls of colour to redirect away from the negative and harmful things in our communities.
- Why black women and girls are best suited to be providing black women and girls what they need and want.
- The value of the Fashion for Social Change initiative to build skills for girls of colour that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and to create resource opportunities for them.
- Creativity leads to diversifying revenue.
- The restrictions and rules that exist for funding and how they need to change.
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Wakumi didn’t choose to do the work around advocating for girls of colour, but the work chose her, again and again.
S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective works to mobilize systems involved with girls and non-binary youth of color around the issues of state & community violence, poverty and all forms of oppression. Girls of colour are much more likely to experience these things, and they are also entering into entrepreneurship at the highest rate. There’s a rich, rich, rich history of girls and women of colour leading social movements too.
Entrepreneurship has also existed in communities of colour, because they needed it to survive, and now they are leaning on it more and seeking to be included in the mainstream game.
One of S.O.U.L. Sisters initiatives called ‘The Fashion for Social Change’ is to develop socially conscious businesses and build skills that can’t be taken away. Some of the dream partners that S.O.U.L. Sisters would love to work with are big brands that inspire them and also want to do more social change work. If you know of any connections or open doors to any of these companies, please let the organization know:
- Ivy Park by Beyonce
- J. Crew
The organization is looking for unrestricted capital for general operations and multi-year support as systems change work takes long term commitment from funders.
Join their fundraising campaign: Fashion for Social Change
Listen to the podcast and be inspired!