STUDENTS | July 26, 2018
Ever since she was a young girl, 17-year-old Amber Anderson says she wanted to have something of her own that could impact people. Under her co-founded organization, Black is Gold, the Kenwood senior says she’s fulfilling that goal.
On Aug. 4, the organization is hosting a back-to-school event at Marcus Garvey Elementary School from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. There will be music, games, food and even free haircuts and styles for students. Black Is Gold members will distribute 150 book-bags filled with school supplies.
Anderson is calling it a “big thing.”
“Often, students go to school without the necessary school supplies,” she says. “Without the proper supplies, students aren’t able to learn and succeed. The drive is a big thing for us because we’re giving back.”
Anderson says Black Is Gold got its start after she and fellow co-founders, Jillian Shogunle and Lailah Webster, created a video that showed love and appreciation for the diversity of African American women.“Black women are so diverse in their body shape, skin complexion, and hair texture,” says Anderson. “We were trying to highlight that, yes, we may be different, but we are all gold. Our distinction is linked to our value.”
The group began hosting “Girl Talks” at the YOUmedia Center at Harold Washington Library for young, black women to have a safe space to talk.
After a few conversations, Anderson says she saw that there was room for more resources for African American women. She and her fellow co-founders decided Black Is Gold should become an organization to empower African American girls.
One way to do that was through “Girl Boss 101,” a curriculum that ranges from teaching young women how to dress for an interview, to learning how to network within a future career field.
The young women focus on career readiness, building sisterhood, and they always make time to serve their community.
Anderson says the mission of Black Is Gold is to set up the next young, black woman for success. And with over 300 followers on social media, their platform is growing.
“I’m very passionate about guaranteeing that black women across the city of Chicago have resources to help them be successful and reach their highest level,” says Anderson. “Our goal is to prepare them for their career.”
While helping other young women to succeed, Anderson says she’s working hard to reach new heights herself.
With the support of her “foundation,” or her parents, she hopes to attend Spelman College to study Journalism and Political Science next fall.
No worries, though. She says Black Is Gold will continue to grow just as much as she will.
“I see Black is Gold across the country impacting young women everywhere,” says Anderson. “I want to have college tours and scholarships to allow young, black women to experience all opportunities possible.”