Updated: Apr 19, 2020
The Social Justice Cafe for Girls presents The Atlanta PUSHOUT Project in partnership with The Center for Civil and Human Rights' International Human Trafficking Institute, Women in the Room Productions, and Enchanted Closet, Inc. The Atlanta PUSHOUT Project is based on the documentary and book PUSHOUT by Dr. Monique Morris.
A disproportionate number of Black girls are made vulnerable to issues such as abuse, trafficking, dropping out of school, and running away when they are suspended or expelled from school. For many of them, school is a safe haven. School is a place where there is a caring adult, a warm meal, and "a chance to be like everyone else" according to Kim, a 15-year old girl who experienced abuse at home. However, Kim also shared that school can be a place where "some adults are too busy to understand what we go through. Because they don't understand what we go through at home and on the street, they give us attitude or tell us to 'get out' because they don't want to deal with us. Then we have to think about well who really cares? So, we turn to people who we think cares, but really doesn't."
According to the Human Trafficking Institute, "In a given month, 7,200 men buy sex with an adolescent female in Georgia. Atlanta has the highest annual revenue in the underground commercial sex economy at $290m per year. Atlanta also has one of the highest underground sex industries in the United States. It is a flourishing hub for human trafficking."
Dr. Sharnell Myles, the Executive Director of The Social Justice Cafe for Girls, has worked on the front lines for over 22 years in juvenile court and treatment settings, and has witnessed the effects of "pushout situations" on the lives of Black girls. She also experienced the effects of being pushed out as a high school student while attending Bartram High School in Philadelphia. "I never got suspended due to my defiant behavior. There were plenty of days that I would fight or torment some of my teachers. Instead of addressing the issue, I was allowed to just walk out of the school. Therefore, my parents never knew what was going on because no one, not one person, took time to ask, 'What happened to me?' to get me to that point. They may have viewed me as a child who needed help. But, no one stepped up. This is not a new issue. However, our girls are facing new challenges as a result of being pushed out and the results can sometimes be deadly." Dr. Myles continues to work tirelessly to change the narrative for thousands of girls of color.
On April 24th girls throughout Atlanta will be able to view PUSHOUT via a virtual watch party. These girls will convene on April 25th to discuss the documentary with Dr. Monique Morris and an esteemed panel of girls and women who are paving the way for girls of color in social justice. The panel includes the Honorable Erika Mitchell (APS Board Member), Dr. Terrilyn Rivers-Cannon (National Social Worker of the Year), Arianna (high school social justice advocate), and other influential women.
For more details and the register, please visit. www.socialjusticecafeforgirls.org (event tab) by April 21, 2020. Nonprofit programs are encouraged to register girls for the virtual watch party, discussion, and related advocacy events.
To view PUSHOUT in its entirety, click here.
ngth documentary that takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most im
portant factors in girls’ lives – education.
The Atlanta PUSHOUT Project is in partnership with: