100 Local Girls Attend Mahogany in Motion; Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Cultural Celebration of Black History Month
By Justin Liggin -
Thursday Feb 16, 2023
On Feb. 11, over 100 girls and their families gathered at The Parsons Leadership Center for Girls and Women at Camp South Mountain to celebrate sisterhood, learn from influential community leaders, and engage in uplifting activities during Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC)’s Black History Month event, Mahogany in Motion.
“This empowering event, open to girls of all ages and backgrounds, was rooted in storytelling and self-love. We focused on the message ‘Who I Am Matters’ during our time together to ensure girls walked away believing that about themselves,” says Mary Mitchell, co-CEO of GSACPC. “We opened the program with the Black national anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ and encouraged girls to create and express themselves while engaging in culturally significant projects. It was a beautiful way to celebrate Black History Month with the girls.”
Over the course of one very special day, girls took part in conversations and activities rooted in African American cultures and traditions. Experiences included quilting – a centuries-old tradition that encapsulates the art of storytelling, jewelry making with carefully crafted pieces that hold strong significance in African culture, a self-love mirror exercise, and a girl-led fashion show in partnership with Dress for Success Phoenix, The Beauty Revealed and The Sparkle Bar – a Scottsdale-based luxury makeup studio owned by a Girl Scout alum.
“In addition, we hosted a powerful panel of Black female community leaders including Dr. Joel Martin, president of Positively Powerful Triad West Inc.; Alexandra Bradberry, founder of The Sparkle Bar; High School Senior Jourdan Jones; Dr. Kenja Hassan, assistant vice present, Office of Government and Community Engagement at Arizona State University; APS Program Manager Shareé Hurt and Dress for Success Phoenix CEO Tamala McBath,” says Mitchell. “Each of us reflected on the moment we knew we mattered and shared our hair journey, which is an important topic for Black women and girls.”
The event also featured a keynote by 17-year-old Jourdan Jones, a civil rights activist, poet, and artist from Ohio.
“Jourdan is committed to making society better for all people, especially underrepresented groups. Her poetry and art focus on Black women, their relationship with their natural hair, and how Eurocentric beauty standards impact that relationship. Jourdan's artwork has been cited for its excellence and displayed at an art museum in downtown Cincinnati,” says Martin.
Mahogany in Motion was a great day of learning and provided a safe space for girls to express themselves and explore the beauty in identity. The Girl Scout movement is committed to a diverse membership reflective of the girl population of its communities. Through Girl Scouting, girls and volunteers learn about themselves and the acceptance and appreciation of individuals from diverse backgrounds.