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Takai Tyler and Simone Marean help girls of color find their voice in society.
That’s how mega artist Janet Jackson describes them and why she’s donating to their organization.
“We’re just happy because we feel like she, Janet Jackson, represents who we are,” said Tyler, who along with Marean has led the nonprofit for the past 12 years.
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Jackson is selling some of his vintage and rare concert merchandise. All proceeds will go to Girls Leadership.
On The RealReal website, you can “shop the legendary entertainer’s personal collection of vintage touring merchandise with proceeds benefiting Girls Leadership.”
Prices range from around $100 to $800.
“The girls are starting to feel very powerful. If you think of a kindergarten girl, a five-year-old girl, she’s very clear that she’s powerful, she has very clear leadership goals,” said added Tyler.
A 2020 report by the nonprofit indicates that many girls end up losing that voice. This report found that teacher bias is the biggest challenge facing black and Latina girls. They are often seen as loud, aggressive and angry. This misperception can have a detrimental effect on their leadership skills.
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Girls Leadership also offers professional development training for teachers and parents because there is a right way to support girls.
“That a teacher can say what you say is really important, ‘let’s work on how we say it, work on what you want to do here and I’m here to help you find the right way to be powerful, not to punish you for being powerful,” explained Marean.
Even Janet Jackson remembers not having that voice.
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“I wanted my own identity, but at that time my dad was in charge of my life, my career, and he was my manager,” she says in her recent four-part documentary that aired on Lifetime.
In a statement, Jackson said: “Women need to support each other more from day one and it starts at a very young age. We owe it to the younger generation to teach them, so they make fewer mistakes than us. “
And Tyler and Marean agree, it’s never too late to learn how to empower future generations of women.
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