Southern Black Girls and Women's Consortium
Awards AISJ $58,750 to support Black Girls
AISJ is proud to announce it is the recipient of the Black Girl Dream Fund by the Southern Black Girls and Women's Consortium (SBGWC) for $58,750, where the funds will be used to support Black girls in Title 1 schools through The Judge Tiffany B. McCord "Just Like You" Program.

SBGWC is led by four anchoring organizations, all Black women in philanthropy, activism, and girls’ work, having movement-building experience in the deep south — Margo Miller, the Appalachian Community Fund, Felecia Lucky, the Black Belt Community Foundation, Alice Eason Jenkins, the Fund for Southern Communities, and LaTosha Brown, TruthSpeaks Innovation Foundation.
AISJ is proud to partner with Judge McCord, whose humble beginnings proves that with relentless determination and the ability to dream, anything is possible. Born and raised in rural Alabama by a low-income family, Judge McCord has a deep understanding of poverty and has personally experienced some of the adverse implications of this condition, to include being homeless. Today, however, she serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. She is a history maker, in her own right, becoming one of the youngest attorneys to be selected as a Criminal Justice Act panel attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Currently, she serves as District Judge, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.
When she approached AISJ about launching a program to empower Black girls to aspire towards considering career choices where Black women are historically under-represented, as well as empower and inspire the exploration of their own passions for vocations, we knew, given our organization's long history in supporting and advocating on behalf of Black women and girls, this program would make a meaningful addition to our growing body of work, particularly in the area of our gender equity platform, which seeks to level the playing field by valuing women's work, lives, and voices, bringing awareness to issues like pay equity, improving health outcomes and support advancements, and being intentional about lifting the voices of women and their experiences.
To that end, AISJ went to work to develop this program, which brings in Black, female speakers to introduce Black girls to a variety of career options and, at the end of program, each girl will receive a doll reflecting their career choice and ethnicity. To ensure a logo that captured the true essence and purpose of this program, AISJ selected Davian Chester, popularly known as the "Google Guy" for his calling out Google for not having a Juneteenth doodle in 2019, and an artist specifically dedicated to "illustrating the Black experience," we could not be more pleased with this original graphic Davian designed (shown above) to serve as the "Just Like You" program logo.
This initiative was launched on February 16, 2021 at Martin L. King (MLK) and Thelma Smiley Morris (Morris) elementary schools in Montgomery, AL, with well over 300 students attending, between both schools. This program will meet monthly during the remainder of this school term and continue in the fall, thanks to our SBGWC support!
AISJ wishes to express its sincerest gratitude to Mr. Booker McMillian, principal of MLK, and Ms. DeNitta Hollman Easterling, principal of Morris, for opening their schools to implement this meaningful program. Our schools are among the most critical institutions of our society, as they are charged with shaping, developing, and educating the hearts and minds of those that will lead us one day, and we could not be more proud of the leadership of these two incredible school and community leaders! They are proof of AISJ's mantra, that is, "Together, we can!"
Mr. Booker McMillian, Principal
Martin L. King Elementary School
Ms. DeNitta Hollman Easterling, Principal
Thelma Smiley Morris Elementary School