Girl Power'd a gymnastics and dance program meant to build the self esteem and the self love for young girls who identify as Black.
GP was founded in 2015 by 2 sisters. Both professional artists, entrepreneurs and dancers, Brittnee Habbib and her sister started teaching Black girls dance and gymnastics in a park. In 2016, Girl Power’d had its first GP Day, a 4hr day created to build the self esteem and the self love for young girls 7-14 years old through self expression and movement.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Girl Power’d focuses on creating a safe, sacred space for young black girls to become their best selves. We do this through gymnastics, dance, and cultural self-expression. We believe in our next generation being our future, and we are ensuring they are receiving the tools they need to strive.
From 2015-now, GP has progressed to a weekly 4 day, program serving over 100 participants per year who identify as Black. We have travelled internationally, running workshops in the USA, and our core team has grown, with youth mentors (past participants) learning to be mentors for our younger girls.
Girl Power’d provides physical activity and mental wellness through gymnastics and dance to the black community across the Greater Toronto Area. We recognize that not many black youths get the opportunity to participate in sports like gymnastics or dance. We also recognize that many black youths are looking for an outlet to release the daily tensions they experience outside of our program.
Our GOAL is to educate and create a safe, sacred space for these girls in a fun engaging way. Gymnastics, Cultural dance, and self expression is the perfect match to do this. African dance has history, intention and meaning. As these girls are moving they will be able to understand that each movement has a purpose. They will be learning their heritage as they dance and move.
Increasing the self-esteem, the self love, the confidence and the cultural awareness of young Black girls. Empowering and connecting youth to their culture. We are creating an environment where they will have a voice to stand up for themselves.
We have a core team that works year round to bring this program to life. All members are Black professional artists. It's important for us to have team members that our participants can relate to.
We hire Black professional artists who specialize in a specific art form to expand the minds and souls of our young girls.
Brittnee was on the Canadian National Gymnastics Team. She has travelled to 9 countries including; the Commonwealth Games in Australia, The Pan Am Championships in Brazil and the World Championships in Denmark. She was the only Black girl on the team and faced serious racism and discrimination. She lacked confidence at this high level representing her country. She did not have a voice to speak out and to stand up for the injustices that were done to her. Brittnee needed to create a safe space for young Black girls to have a voice. To love themselves, to understand their culture and to believe in their power.
Brittnee then received a full scholarship to the University Of Nebraska, graduated with honours majoring in Communications Studies, having a double minor in French and Sociology,
Brittnee is a Dancer, Filmmaker, Director, Producer, Mentor, Motivational Speaker, and a Creative Entrepreneur. Brittnee is a star in the Feature film "Chalk It Up" on Netflix.
"It Starts With You. Love Yourself. Trust your Journey. Manifest Positivity"
A graduate of Ryerson who majored in social work and doubled minored in both acting and dance. Growing up she explored most dance forms including; hip hop, contemporary, Latin, Kizombe, jazz and ballet. With a passion in African Dance Diaspora, she has explored mentorship programs and has learned many skills to be able to give back to the community.
Jillian joined Girl Power’d in early 2019 where she got to incorporate both of her passions in one. Working with young Black girls and educating them on the importance of culture through African dance. She truly wants to give these girls everything she didn’t have growing up. She understands there is a lack of safe spaces for young Black girls to excel. Jillian joined our team and immediately fell in love with the vision.
Jillian continues to seek out ways to combine her devotion for Social Justice with arts-based programming and ensuring that those within the community have access to adequate resources.
Faith Mannings (Youth Mentor)
From participant, to youth mentor to instructor. Faith is an intricate part to our GP team. Faith is a dancer and choreographer trained in tap, ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, Afro-Caribbean, and traditional West African Dance - with a specific focus on the dances of Guinea. She is also a skilled djembe musician. Her dance journey, which started at age four, has included training at York University, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Ngoma Ensemble, and CYDT. Dancing has allowed her to travel and represent Canada in international dance festivals in Scotland, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad. Kemora has been able to transfer her diverse skillset and has directed two productions, "Owning Our Roots, Telling Our Truths" and "Black as Bright as the Sun." Beyond dance, Kemora is a public speaker who has spoken on panels at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and both the International Association of Blacks in Dance and Pop Moves Conference. Kemora seeks to empower and advocate through the arts which is evident through her work with community efforts like Girl Power'd. As a Black girl in a white- dominated field, Faith's experiences compelled her to work with young Black girls and to help encourage and prepare them for a life in a society that doesn't look favourably on them.
The newest addition to our GP Team! Samonique was born and raised in Jamaica. She describes herself as confident, reliable, responsible, hardworking and determined. She is a certified Competitive gymnastics coach who has coached competitive gymnastics both in Jamaica and in the USA. She comes with great experience and new drills to help our girls meet their goals!
We are very happy to have her join our team.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Sign up to hear from us about classes and special events