My work: Uplifting women and girls of African descent through a supportive, global network
This profile was prepared when Angela Coleman was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Angela recognizes that poor African-American girls growing up in cities face numerous choices about school, sex, drugs, and work, all the things that will determine their personal, economic, and social futures. To help them make wise choices, Angela has designed programs that prepare these young women to reflect on their lives and to analyze their beliefs, problems, and potentials. She also helps them consider societal expectations of young American women in general–expectations stemming primarily from the mass media. She helps girls create or revive positive self-images and nurture them as the most important guideposts to help them navigate through the difficulties they face. The centerpiece of Angela's idea is a curriculum for girls ages twelve to seventeen. She has also designed a shorter program for younger girls, an alumni association to provide ongoing support to graduates of other programs, and adult self-development classes that provide minority women with a forum to reflect critically on the forces affecting their lives. Angela is rapidly replicating her idea by licensing her curriculum, products, and programs to national organizations that also promote the well-being of African American females.