Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing and physical fitness, GGE encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.
Urban Leaders Academy (ULA) is GGE's after-school program based in one junior high school and one high school in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. It is a holistic program designed to advance leadership skills, social justice principles and values, and self-determination within our young people. Staff and mentors view youth as catalysts for change to improve gender, race, and class rights for communities of color. Serving as many as 90 students at each location, ULA intentionally collaborates with each school to meet the students’ needs by filling in the gaps with enrichment programming that schools are unable to provide.
In the process of creating this project, the GGE Photography teams partnered with the students and staff of our schools to get insight on how people allow their magic to shine. Questions we asked each participant included "What does it look like when you believe in your magic? What is something you've achieved that others told you would be too difficult or impossible, but you believed you could achieve anyway?" Within our schools, everyone has a unique interpretation of what makes them who they are. These are the images of our students and staff showing us who they truly are.