Postindustrial Audio, Empower by Example, Dr. Kathi Elliott, Gwen’s Girls

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Dr. Kathi Elliot, Gwen’s Girls

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In this episode we discuss the results of the Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and how the Alliance works together to change longstanding policies in these systems. Kathi discusses examples of issues such as the school to prison pipeline, the adulteration of black gils and having honest conversations with high school students. BGEA invites a panel of black girls to lead their summit, set the agenda and frankly discuss their experiences. Dr. Elliott and Laura discuss implicit bias and racism within our institutions and systems.  

Dr. Kathi Elliott is the CEO of Gwen’s Girls. They provide services to girls ages 8-18 by offering opportunities that these girls would not typically have access to in their day to day lives. Dr. Elliott is continuing the work started by her mother Gwendolyn Elliott in 2002 when Gwen’s Girls was formed. In addition to after school programs and community outreach, Kathi also heads the Black Girls Equity Alliance, a partnership whose mission is to analyze and direct positive changes in the different systems that serve black girls in Pittsburgh. The four workgroups of the BGEA focus on are Education, Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare and Health and Wellness. 

The Gwendolyn Elliott Institute is a part of Gwen’s Girls that examines issues affecting girls of color nationally. There is an annual summit of the Black Girls Equity Alliance in Pittsburgh where leadership from the Gwendolyn Elliott Institute attempt to break down the traditional silos in these systems to start conversations to improve the lives of these girls. Several years ago, Kathi found that the foundation community was having a parallel conversation about black males, so the BGEA reached across to pose the question “But what about the girls?” The result of these conversations led to the publishing of 2014 report detailing the inequities.

If you are interested in learning more about Gwen’s Girls, their work and how you can volunteer to serve the girls in their program you can register here:

You can find Gwen’s Girls on social media on


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