Black Girls Jump (BGJ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the art of double dutch jump rope. The organization uses the childhood game, which has been passed down intergenerationally in Black communities, to encourage adolescent girls to engage in physical activity. Black Girls Jump pairs its jump roping activities with youth programs to teach leadership, team-building, and conflict resolution skills. Singing songs, making friends, and creating new memories, Black Girls Jump offers adolescent girls the opportunity to grow in community with other young women who share their lived experiences.
Black Girls Jump aims to alleviate the barriers which prevent Black girls from engaging in exercise. Studies suggest that, due to social disparities, Black girls are the least likely of all children to get regular exercise, contributing to negative health outcomes like higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Jump rope is an inexpensive activity, making it accessible to many girls. BGJ’s program includes an array of jump rope games focused on endurance, speed, and coordination. By introducing girls to physical activity at a young age, BGJ hopes to alleviate health disparities that disproportionately affect Black women and girls.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support Black Girls Jump’s “JUMP IN!” program at Horace Mann Elementary School in the South Shore community of Chicago. BGJ has implemented the “JUMP IN” program in 16 Chicago schools, consistently showing positive outcomes among participants. The program has had a retention rate of 75 percent or higher across schools, and program evaluations show evidence of skills development and a sense of achievement among participants. BGJ will expand its current jump rope training program to reach 30 more girls (10 sixth grade girls, 10 seventh grade girls, and 10 eighth grade girls). The program will bring in world-class jump rope and gymnastics coaches and offer girls the opportunity to participate in national and international tournaments and events.
As a long-term goal, BGJ hopes to provide training and resources to enable female athletes in Chicago to reach the highest levels of competition, including the Olympic Games. Regardless of their level of competition, Black Girls Jump aims to build resilience, perseverance, and strength among its participants. In doing so, Black Girls Jump will support adolescent girls in building their sense of self and belonging through an activity rooted in Black girlhood. For more information about Black Girls Jump, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages: