What We Do

Black Girls Stay Lit™ supports Black girls in connecting with themselves, each other, and caring adults through meaningful conversations around personally relevant, culturally-specific texts and topics that are not traditionally explored in high school classes. Our rigorous curriculum is deeply contextual, drawing on issues of importance to participants' gender, cultural and socio-historical heritage as well as relating to their real-life experiences, evolving culture and yet-unfolding history.

Why Join BGSL

Black Girls Stay Lit™ is not your average literacy program. While there is a lot of reading and writing—and viewing and listening–BGSL is nothing like an English class. This is because we:

  • Read Texts Tailored to Resonate with the Experiences of Black Girls.
  • Write in Non-academic, Personal Styles that Amplify Individual Voices and Perspectives.
  • Engage Actively in Program Decisions, from Group Codes of Conduct to Selecting Readings and Writing Projects.
  • Feature Facilitators as Mentors, Guides, and Mediators—not Traditional Teachers—and There is No Grading System, Just Guidance, Support and Encouragement.
  • Foster a Collaborative Environment Where Facilitators and Participants Mutually Teach and Learn from One Another.

BGSL BenefiTs

what's included:

  • Weekly One Hour-Long Deep Dives Into Culturally/Gender Relevant Texts and Guided Writing Practice
  • Healthy Snacks in Each In-Person BGSL Meeting
  • Official Black Girls Stay Lit™ Swag, Valued at More Than $50
  • Curated Culturally/Gender Relevant Books and Reading Materials to Add to Your Own Library, Valued at More Than $30.
  • Black Girls Stay Lit™ Leadership Opportunities

Black Children Face Systemic Barriers to Educational Success and Thus to Positive Life Outcomes

Anti-Black and gender bias means some schools fail to provide Black girls with curricula and policies that affirm their intersecting identities and lived-experiences. As more states—including Ohio—move to implement laws that restrict the teaching of gender and race theories, research shows that Black girls, like their male counterparts: rank lowest on standardized reading, writing and math tests as well as high school graduation rates and they are disproportionately enrolled in schools lacking credentialed teachers, rigorous courses, and extracurricular activities.

Black Girls Stay Lit™ is a social justice initiative that uses critical explorations of select African American women’s literature/multimodal texts to interrupt systemic racism and systems that have historically marginalized Black girls. Our exclusive Liberatory Literacy model engages reading and writing as shared social experiences of meaning-making, co-creating knowledge, and developing concrete actions for addressing personal, communal and global challenges to our self-actualization, freedom and well-being. Our evidence-based curriculum centers and affirms our girls, thus giving them a concrete purpose for the literacies they are developing. In BGSL, Black girls can see themselves in the stories that they read and give voice to their own experiences in the stories they write.

The Research is Clear!

Black girls with strong racial identity are more likely to be academically engaged, curious and persistent in school, whereas “those holding unhealthy racial identity beliefs tend to perform lower in school and have more symptoms of depression.

[F]eeling positive about being Black, and feeling support and belonging … may be especially important for African-American girls’ classroom engagement and curiosity.”

– Sheretta Butler-Barnes, author of "Promoting Resilience Among African American Girls: Racial Identity as a Protective Factor"

Black Girls Stay Lit™ centers and celebrates Black girls’ intersectional identities. Together, we make sense of ourselves and others, give voice to our own stories, have our sisters’ backs, and develop our unique capacities for Black excellence.

Black Girls Stay Lit™ follows in the Black literary tradition of using story in service of anti-racist education, social justice and Black joy

Unapologetically rooted in Black Women’s history and culture, Black Girls Stay Lit™ defies dominator culture and generates joy—the joy of being seen, heard, respected and made fuller—by empowering Black girls to love, center, and amplify themselves, their voices, culture, communities and their historical legacy of resistance, resilience, inventiveness and excellence.


“Dr. T is amazing, smart and nonjudgmental”

– Cory, Former Student

“Love Dr. T!! She’s a great speaker/leader, great listener, gives great feedback/advice.”

– Lacy, Former Student

“I really enjoyed Dr. T and her advice. She seems so kind and humble!”

– Gidget, Former Student

“Very helpful and informative and very understanding.”

– Olivia, Former Student

“Dr. T has been wonderful and patient with us, allowing us to express ourselves and encouraging us to ask questions.”

– Lisa, Former Student

Choose Your Path

We offer two membership options

Virtual and In-Person (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Sign up by February 29, 2024 and save on regular program fees


includes all 3 sessions

(spring, summer, and fall)


Spring 2024

a single 10 week-long session

(Beginning the week of March 25-May 27, 2024)


Summer 2024

a single 10 week-long session

(Beginning the week of June 10-August 12, 2024)


Fall 2024

a single 10 week-long session

(Beginning the week of September 9-Novemeber 11, 2024)