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Anchor 1

Who We Are

Adolescent girls are at the stage where developmental changes coincide with other transitions, more specifically the transitions from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school (Belgrave, et al., 2008). Not only are their bodies changing, but their lives, goals, behaviors, and personalities are in transition as well. Sisters of Nia sets out to help girls strive during these difficult changes by providing curriculum in which girls are supported, nurtured, and empowered. Each lesson is based on Afrocentric principles and is grade level specific. Below are the key topics that will be discussed by grade level.

Our Curriculum



Theme: Who Am I?
  • Focus on developing the self

  • Create a sense of sisterhood

  • Introduction of African history

  • Develop a sense of unity



Theme: Am I Who I Say I Am?
  • Focus on developing the self

  • Focus on leadership

  • In-depth study of African history

  • Focus on positive problem-solving

  • Focus on the use of positive affirmations



Theme: Am I All I Can Be?
  • Focus on having a Growth Mindset

  • Focus on leadership

  • Focus on finding their purpose

  • HBCU/Black history tour

  • Rites of passage preparation

Our Principles
Each lesson is designed around one of our eight principles, or our Nguzo Nane. These principles, which are Kiswahili words, represent eight values of African culture that help build and reinforce community among African-Americans. We expect our program directors, facilitators, and girls to live their daily lives according to these principles.

Umoja - Unity

Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics

Kugichagulia - Self-Determination

 Heshema - Respect

Ujima - Collective Work & Responsibility

Kuumba - Creativity

Imani - Faith

Nia - Purpose


What We Do

Through our meetings with the girls, we aim to:

  • Strengthen knowledge and appreciation for African American culture, ethnic pride, and identity.

  • Improve self-esteem.

  • Inspire self-motivation leading to the achievement of academic and personal goals.

  • Reinforce positive peer relationships and decrease negative peer interactions.

  • Develop a strong sense of social responsibly.

  • Provide health education.

Core Beliefs & Values

  • We believe each girl has the potential to be successful.

  • We believe each girl has the ability to change and to create change.

  • We believe it is essential that each girl be taught to maintain a balance between personal and emotional health, personal growth, and self-care.

  • We value each girl as a unique individual with unique gifts and talents.

  • We embrace Afrocentric values.

  • We value direct and honest communication between the leaders and the girls at an effort to maintain authenticity of the program.

Programs & Events

Programs for Nia Participants

Annual Retreat

Before starting the new Nia year, the 7th and 8th grade Nia girls attend an annual retreat together focused on strengthening their self-esteem, sisterhood, and problem-solving skills. After attending the retreat, the girls tend to have a stronger bond with one another, in addition to stronger self-esteem, having accomplished tasks together they never viewed as possible. They come back from the retreat stronger, and ready to start the new Nia year with a bang!

HBCU/Black History Tour

As part of their culminating rites of passage, the 8th grade Nia girls attend a Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)/Black History Tour. They visit various HBCU’s and locations focused on African and African-American history. The purpose of this trip is to bring the African history lessons from our monthly sessions full circle, and to reinforce each of the Sisters of Nia principles. During the trip, the girls are able to make visual connections from many of the monthly lessons. Upon returning home, each girl will prepare a presentation to be given to the Nia community and will share highlights about her experience on the trip.

Rites of Passage Ceremony

The program culminates with a rites of passage ceremony, symbolizing the girls moving to new levels of maturity, as purposeful, confident, and motivated young women. Prior to the ceremony, each girl must complete a series of eight tasks, each representing one of the Nia principles. Tasks include research, presentations, and interviews enabling the girls to learn about and connect with a variety of African Americans in their families, communities, and career interests. Upon completion of the program, each girl will be armored with a set of tools to be well prepared for her future.

Programs for Nia Parents

Parent Outreach Workshops

  • The workshops focus on creating and strengthening the bond between parents and their daughters.

  • The purpose of these workshops is to provide intervention resources to increase parent-child connectedness among the girls and parents with which we work.

Using curriculum produced by ETR Associates (Education, Training, Research Associates), our workshops focus on four main topics:


  • Parent-Child Connectedness

  • Understanding My Adolescent Daughter

  • Increasing the Connection with My Adolescent Daughter

  • Listening to My Adolescent Daughter


Other Parent Outreach Programs: Each program is focused on building and strengthening communication between parents and their adolescent daughter.

Mother/Daughter Spa Party

Father/Daughter Bowling Competition

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