A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER
Hey, Y'all Hey,
It's my pleasure to welcome you to the official website for The Black Girl TRIBE!
I am so happy you're here and I hope you are inspired. My name is Gabrielle "Ms. Gabbi" Martinez and I have the esteemed pleasure of being the Founder and Executive Director of TRIBE Inc., better known as "The Black Girl TRIBE." Before founding TRIBE Inc. I had the opportunity to work for some of the country's leading non-profit organizations. During my time working with these organizations I found myself being invited to into spaces only to be a presence and never a voice. And most of the time the women in leadership were not a reflection of myself or the communities we served.
And even though most of the issues these organizations focused on directly impacted Black and Brown Girls and Women, they were almost never invited to the table, let alone given seats. How can you discuss actions or solutions without the people directly being affected?
The work I was doing was impactful and worthy, but I found myself constantly having to explain the necessity of honoring and unapologetically focusing on the holistic development of Black Girls and Women. While I was hired for my culture, creativity, and passion; those very things were shunned when I used them to empower myself. Having to constantly explain to "well-meaning" people the trauma they placed on my life with their carelessness for Black Girls and Women, including myself, was exhausting; subsequently distracting me from the change I could have been making in the world.
And out of those feelings of disempowerment and devalue, TRIBE, Inc. was born.
Because nevertheless, Black Girls persist. Statistics show that Black Girls are disproportionately under/never-served proper access to education, healthcare, and other vital and supplemental resources. Privilege is not spent on Black Girls; but yet and still, it is a pleasure to be one.
We work hard, excelling and beating the odds and setting trends for the world to follow. We break through ceilings, shake tables, and take space in places that, at one time, we could not walk through the front door. And while we realize our past is one of brutal beauty and triumph, we are fueled by it to light the fire of the future. Using our network of Black Girl Magicians, our Village, champions and community partners; TRIBE is working diligently to fill in the gaps for Black Girls by providing a space for mentorship, advocacy, and holistic culturally-competent and relevant programming. We have over 20 years of experience in youth and culture work, and a lifetime experience of being Black Girls.
This is what makes us different and successful in our endeavors. We approach our program development from a holistic, culturally-competent, and relevant perspective – or at least we work really hard to, realizing that no one is perfect. Our programs and actions are all developed in the spirit of gained access, “noticed need”, or direct life experience.
I started TRIBE to honor my experience in Black Girlhood, and for every Black Girl and Woman who has poured into my life. I was inspired by the courage of Harriet Tubman; Zora Neale Hurston's reverence for the culture; Sojourner Truth's unapologetic womanism; and the love of my mother. No matter who it is that inspires you, whatever you want to do, just do it Black Girl.
Our TRIBE is huge and still growing. With TRIBE sisters in elementary through high school, universities, and professions of all kinds, we are building a network of empowered Girls and Women like no other. Our success is in the sustained success and growth of our Tribe. Every new participant-turned-sister brings her family and community (her Village) with her, therefore adding to our greater Village. We develop programs that not only support Black Girls, but that can be supplemental to the communities that foster them. We rely on relationship, our allies, word of mouth, and the power of Black Girl Magic – and it has never let us down. It takes a Village to raise a Tribe, and I am so grateful you want to join us as we work for the betterment of Black Girls.
Before finding the courage to start TRIBE I was told initiatives that are dedicated solely to Black Girls have “insufficient and immeasurable outcomes.” TRIBE is my direct response to that. Black Girls are anything but insufficient, and the only thing immeasurable about us is our potential.
Founder and Executive Director