June Newsletter

This month as we celebrate Emancipation Day, we are aware of the performative national recognition of this day in the face of the basic rights and liberties that we are actually advocating for. Systemic racism is continues to run rampant in this country through healthcare, education systems, the prison-industrial complex, and much more. Through our vote and our civic action, we inform lawmakers of the positions and policies that would be most impactful to us. Rather than address our concerns, they declare a day celebrating Black liberation (two years after enslaved people were actually freed) as a national holiday as a pacifier to our claims of current injustice. This all too familiar strategy is exactly the type I referred to in my April Blavity piece. By ignoring or moving painfully slow with our actual concerns, yet seizing the opportunity to pass a brand new holiday, lawmakers are sending a message. This is an attempt to convince us that our voices do not matter, and our votes are only needed during election years.

We know this is false. We have to continue to push for voting rights, equitable access to healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, and so much more. We have come so far and we still have much further to go. But our ancestors started this fight, knowing that true freedom is not given, it is taken.

Let us march on, til victory is won.

Nykidra “Nyki” Robinson


Exclusive Opportunity

We have 10 exclusive tickets reserved for our BGV Family. If you are interested in joining some powerful folks in Pharma in person tomorrow, register for WOCIP Town Hall event today! Fill out this form to let them know Black Girls Vote sent you. Lunch will be provided!


This month we discussed the Black Student Loan Debt Crisis with leading experts Dr. Tiffany Jones of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Katherine Wheatle of the Lumina Foundation, and Ashley Harrington of The Center for Responsible Lending. These women gave insight to the layered causes of the crisis and provided additional suggestions for what we can do to combat this issue. One of the major solutions: cancel all student debt immediately. Get the full recap in our highlight video, and join the conversation in our upcoming Back to School Twitter Chat in August. More details to follow!

We are so incredibly proud of our amazing founder & CEO, Nykidra Robinson. This year, she has been honored as one of The Daily Record’s Most Influential Marylanders. Her hard work and determination are what have made Black Girls Vote possible, and people are taking notice of what we have known all along: she is unstoppable. Congratulations, Nyki! The BGV Team is celebrating you today, and every day!

DETROIT FAMILY!!! BGV is happy to announce our new partnership with The WELL. The WELL is a network of Black-women entrepreneurs and leaders who are building a community where we support and learn from one another, grow businesses that create wealth, and push the boundaries on our dreams. Its Early Entrepreneur Growth Program (EEGP) is a 6-month, 12 session virtual accelerator program for black women business owners in years 0 – 2 of business and earning annual revenue of $0 – $25,000. EEGP is designed to provide black women entrepreneurs with foundational knowledge to grow businesses with greater success and fewer costly mistakes in a supportive and culturally-affirming community. Through sponsorship from General Motors, The WELL is investing in Black women entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan and beyond by offering 10 scholarships to qualifying women in key cities including Detroit. The next cohort of EEGP will launch on July 13th. Applications are due on June 27th. For more information and to apply, visit The WELL at thewellnetwork.us/eegp.
In coordination with The WELL, Black Girls Vote is also sponsoring one Baltimore-based woman to have free membership for one FULL YEAR! To be considered, all you have to do is click here and apply for membership by June 30th and note that you were referred by Black Girls Vote in your application. One distinguished winner of this honor will be announced July 7th at our upcoming event ConvHERsation & Cocktails with Ladies in LeadHERship. Apply today, and let them know that BGV sent you! And don’t forget to get your ticket for our event on July 7th when the winner will be announced!


Shirmel R. Wiggs is Black Girls Vote’s June Spotlight and Outreach Co-Lead for the organization. She is a financial enthusiast, investment broker, and entrepreneur. An advocate for financial education, she believes that if we learn how money works, how to properly protect our assets and apply simple fundamentals to wealth building practices, we would be unstoppable as a nation.

Shirmel’s career began at a Fortune 500 company where she realized that working for someone else and building their business was not a good fit for her long term. After three years, she began working as an independent contractor for a Financial Services Firm.

Building 16 years of service as a consultant, Shirmel launched The Purpose Generation. In her capacity as owner and operator, she helps families accomplish their personal financial goals and dreams through proper financial education, strategic coaching, and implementation. She educates and coaches on retirement planning, taxes, budgeting, debt elimination, estate planning, life insurance, social security, trusts, and homeownership with a focus on the African American community to position families to build legacies and establish a gateway to economic and financial equality.

A native New Yorker, Shirmel was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island by her loving parents. She was educated at Hampton University, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. She currently resides in Baltimore County, MD with her devoted husband of 16 years, Tony Wiggs and their teenage son. Thank you, Shirmel! You are an instrumental and inspirational member of the Black Girls Vote Team.

Two of our collegiate interns led the effort for our recently released report titled Black Women Did That: A Call to Invest in the Civic Health of Black Women in America…let’s say that again. Two of our collegiate interns led the effort for our recently released report on Black women’s civic health in America. Danielle is a recent graduate of University of Pennsylvania who majored in Political Science. Hoda is a current student at Harvard College studying Government and African American Studies. These two worked diligently over several months collecting data and organizing the report that we published. Hoda and Danielle, you inspire us with your work, your passion, and your commitment to advocating for the Black community. You have already accomplished such amazing things. We know that you both are destined for greatness!! We recognize your light and uplift your work, as we pass the torch to you: the next generation.

Since the pandemic began, about 493,000 women are no longer a part of the workforce. Black Girls Vote wants to do our part in getting women back in the workplace by providing these job announcements for current listings.

Internships

Volunteer

WE ARE HIRING!

Black Girls Vote, Inc. (BGV)– a Baltimore-based national non-partisan, grassroots organization that focuses on activating the collective voting power and civic-engagement of Black women to advocate for issues that impact them and their families – is looking for a Communications Project Manager to join a growing in-house communications team. This role will support BGV’s Communications Associate in developing and executing communications and public-facing engagements to further advance the organization’s mission and vision. The Communications Project Manager will be responsible for managing the successful rollout of various plans, including external events, announcements and outreach for BGV activities.

The Communications Project Manager will report to the founder and CEO and work alongside the Communications Associate and BGV’s strategic communications consulting firm.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Lead and manage projects
  • Coordinate events and rollout plans
  • Manage emails and follow-up notes on events and activities
  • Must prioritize and manage competing deadlines for multiple projects
  • Must be solutions-oriented and comfortable adapting and adjusting quickly
  • Create and post social media content, including rapid response
  • Work with graphic design editing platforms such as Canva
  • Be a strong and versatile writer (e.g. press releases, speeches, letters, etc.)
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Qualifications
The following qualifications will set up the candidate for success in this role:

  • Passion for advocating for transformative, sustained change that centers and impacts Black women
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations/relevant degree AND/OR at least one year of relevant communications, journalism, or public relations experience
  • Event planning experience
  • Strong leadership abilities and self-starter
  • Team player and innovator

Compensation

This position is part-time offering $20/hr.

Please provide a cover letter, writing sample and resume to be considered for this position to HR@blackgirlsvote.com.

Black Girls Vote is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.