For the last twenty years, Gwen’s Girls has focused on empowering girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education, and experiences. It was founded by former police commander, Gwen Elliott, who believed that many girls were falling through the cracks because services were not designed for them.
Dr. Kathi Elliott, CEO, recognized that many of the issues faced by young women cannot be resolved through direct services and mentoring alone. She founded the Black Girls Equity Alliance (BGEA) to engage community organizations and individuals in becoming champions for Black girls and girls of color. In addition to the annual Equity Summit, the BGEA has active work groups focused on reform in child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and health and wellness.
Disrupting Pathways to Juvenile Justice
In addition to providing financial support for Gwen’s Girls, FISA has been an active participant in the Black Girls Equity Alliance, including production of Disrupting Pathways to Juvenile Justice for Black Youth in Allegheny County and subsequent efforts to address the over-policing of Black girls in schools and community, often for minor, nonviolent offenses.