African American News

#BlackGirlJoyChallenge Empowers Youth Mental Health

ATLANTA – The Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium (Southern Black Girls) and the Pete and Thomas Foundation, in collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion and sportswear giant NIKE, have sparked a movement to champion mental health and wellness among young Black girls and women. Through their special cycle of the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge, they’ve not only ignited a wave of positivity but have also laid the groundwork for sustainable change.

Launched on the “International Day of the Girl Child” last October, the challenge aimed to promote mental health and well-being among individuals aged 12-24 across the southern United States. By spreading joy through creative initiatives, the challenge encouraged young participants to explore the transformative power of positivity.

“We believe that joy is a catalyst for change,” remarked Malikah Berry Rogers, Executive Director of Southern Black Girls. “Through the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge, we’ve witnessed the incredible potential of joy to uplift communities and drive meaningful transformation.”

After receiving thousands of heartfelt applications, 100 grantees were selected to receive micro-grants, enabling them to execute their projects aimed at spreading joy within their communities. From organizing drive-in movie experiences during the pandemic to addressing period poverty and supporting mental health initiatives, the diversity of projects reflects the depth of creativity and compassion within the community.

Among the remarkable initiatives are ZaNaria Bowen’s Mental Health and Wellness Book Fair Extravaganza, Milan Waller’s golf summit focusing on resilience, Mila Marrero’s comfort boxes for Black girls in mental health facilities, and Kristin Hardy’s mental health days at local libraries.

“These projects not only promote joy but also foster resilience and support mental health,” said Berry Rogers. “They demonstrate the power of community-driven initiatives in addressing mental health challenges.”

The success of the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge serves as a testament to the importance of prioritizing mental health and well-being, particularly within marginalized communities. By providing a platform for young individuals to express themselves creatively and address mental health concerns, the challenge has opened doors for meaningful dialogue and support.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of the grantees and the impact of the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge, let us also recognize the ongoing need for investment in mental health resources and support systems. By continuing to prioritize mental health, we can build a more resilient and compassionate society for all.


The #BlackGirlJoyChallenge represents a significant step forward in destigmatizing mental health issues within the Black community. By focusing on joy as a vehicle for positive change, this initiative not only promotes mental well-being but also empowers young Black individuals to take charge of their mental health journeys.

The projects highlighted in the news story illustrate the creativity and resilience of the participants, showcasing how joy can be harnessed as a tool for healing and community building. It’s crucial to recognize the importance of initiatives like these in addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by Black youth and women, and to continue supporting such endeavors in the future.

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