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  • $50,000
  • Funded
  • Chicago, IL

M.E.A.N Girls Empowerment

M.E.A.N Girls Empowerment

Manage Emotions Avoid Negativity Girls Empowerment Inc., also known as M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment (MGE), is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization. Their mission is to empower girls between the ages of 11 and 18 to avoid negativity, build confidence, and pursue their goals through perseverance, courage, and creativity. MGE offers community-based mentoring programs on the South Side of Chicago at local schools, libraries, churches, and community centers. These programs focus on issues pertinent to girls’ lives such as bullying prevention and health. 

Health disparities between Black and non-Black Chicago residents are a persistent concern in the city. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, non-Black residents are expected to live, on average, 9.2 years longer than Black residents. The pandemic revealed existing inequalities like underfunded community hospitals, food deserts, and a lack of quality housing that contributed to disparate outcomes for Black Chicagoans. Recognizing these challenges, MGE began implementing health focused initiatives in 2021 to respond to the health disparities created by the pandemic and serve girls in underserved communities in Chicago. 

The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support MGE’s Girls Health Matters Initiative. MGE will repurpose a transit van to serve as a pop-up mobile health clinic that travels to community sites and offers health assessments, health boxes and workshops on nutrition, mental health, and reproductive health. The bus will also provide transportation to and from program sites to girls when needed. This initiative aims to address health disparities in the community and also remove a common barrier which prevents girls from participating in community programs. MGE expects to reach over 700 girls between the ages of 10 and 18 by December 2024. 

The Girls Health Matters Initiative will give adolescent girls the tools to proactively manage their health. In implementing this project, MGE aims to reduce health disparities in Chicago by providing health knowledge to girls at a critical point in their development. As an overarching goal, MGE aims to dismantle the cycle of generational health disparities and narrow the racial health gap in Chicago. To learn more about MGE, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages: 

See more projects: North America, Gender-based Violence, Health & Wellbeing, Leadership & Life Skills Development