Under the context of exploring “exhibition as a venue for social change,” the girls will conduct research to explore the histories of African American women across various topics such as southern history, community leadership, and activism in the south.
To connect the student participants to a larger, global body of girls who are also leading for social change, the groups will participate in the International Day of the Girl. In October, the girls travel to the Day of the Girl Speak Out at the United Nations in New York City. The Girl Speak Out convenes a select group of girls, girl advocates, and girl allies from across the globe at the United Nations each year. Girls engage in a half-day event examining and speaking out about important issues affecting girls around the world. In addition to speeches given by girl representatives, girl artists also interpret stories and experiences of girls from around the globe into a spoken word theatrical performance. Each year, the UN puts out an international call for girls to submit their life stories to be included in the speak out performance. Thousands of submissions are received and a select few stories are chosen to be featured.
The Museum of Education is working with the leaders of the Speak Out to establish an intentional effort to more fully include the voices of historically marginalized southern girls. The Director of the Girl Speak Out travels to South Carolina to personally facilitate a Day of the Girl Spoken Word Retreat with our group. The poetry and stories produced at the retreat are then be taken back to New York and incorporated into the theatrical performances to ensure that the voices and experiences of Black southern girls are included at the national event. The group travels to New York City October 9-12th to represent South Carolina at the global event. In the spring, the girls will participate in a 3-day Spring Break Institute, where they will work on curating a small exhibition (focused on the experience of girls). This exhibit will be added to the existing larger museum exhibition on display. For the spring 2019 spring break institute, the girls will focus on Violence Against Girls.
The Septima Clark Program is a partnership with Meadow Glenn Middle School in Lexington and Every Black Girl, Inc. in Columbia.