Jamie Blunt, Founder & Director of Brown Girls Mentoring
"That's what we need... it starts with a conversation," said, Jamie Blunt the founder of Brown Girls Mentoring.
We sat in my studio and discussed ways that we can help bridge the gap between races. Don't let the picture above fool you, Jamie Blunt means BUSINESS. You have to know your "stuff" when you have over 50 Black girls and their families looking to you for guidance.
Jamie grew up in the King-Lincoln District and knew that she wanted to invest in her community and specifically the most vulnerable, brown girls. This vision helped create, Brown Girls Mentoring, an outstanding nonprofit dedicated to empowering, inspiring, and guiding young girls (K-8th grade). Founded in 2016, their mission is to “equip Brown Girls with tools to build her self-confidence, develop relationships, resolve conflict, make wise decisions, work in teams, and develop practical life skills.” They want to see every Brown Girl win, and we should all want that, too.
Jamie seemed optimistic despite the challenges Brown Girls Mentoring has faced during COVID-19, “...We started a phone tree. Every other week we assign our Volunteers to reach out to our girls and get them on the phone. How you doing? How's school? How's Mom? Put her on the phone....We talk to everyone in the family. It's important to keep up. It's even important for the Volunteers to touch base with one another." It takes a village to raise a child, and Brown Girls Mentoring is doing just that. Utilizing technology and keeping in touch has helped the girls get through what could have been a detrimental time.
Jamie invites other Black women from the community into the space to talk with her girls. She wants these conversations to inspire them to dream BIG. To help them feel proud of themselves.
While talking to Jamie, this dream struck a chord with me. I have a little girl (she is not so little anymore) that I mentored and helped to try and guide through life's challenges. However, there were needs that I couldn't meet. Not to state the obvious……. but I am white and with that comes things I will never understand or have to face. That is my privilege. I didn't have to worry about inequality or racism. I wish I would've known about Brown Girls Mentoring- I know that this is a group that would have helped my mentee feel proud about her Black skin in ways that I never could.
The privilege is all mine to be able to partner with Jamie and Brown Girls Mentoring. This won't be the last time we will be working with them either. Jamie and I have already talked about setting up a photo shoot for the girls who are currently in the organization. So please, if you can, take the time to sign up for a professional portrait where 50% of the proceeds will go to support an outstanding cause, or feel free to donate/sponsor a girl who will be getting her picture taken in the future.
I'm looking forward to sharing these stories and hearing from you!
Also, thank you Jamie Blunt for all of your hard work, time, and energy along with your loyal volunteers. Brown Girls Mentoring and you are something to be celebrated 365 days a year.
All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.
For more information, please contact Emma at email@example.com.
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