Aiesha and I met at the Second Sisterhood Summit where I was a workshop facilitator over a year ago. She was thoughtful, friendly, and full of vision.
Here is her story!
Truthfully, black women and girls don’t need The Black Girl Project. I have never been one to tell people what they need because I believe that deep down, each individual knows what they need for themselves and their lives. The issue is that the vast majority of people don’t believe that about themselves. They don’t recognize, because of social and cultural conditioning, that they are gift, have value, and are perfectly capable of being extraordinary. What we do is create programming that lends support to young women aged 17-24+ that helps to get them back to that place.
We live in a culture where black girls are devalued and are seen as “adults” way before they are ready. This age group is sorely lacking in spaces where their growth can be nurtured — we try and fill that gap. In addition, we seek to bridge the gap in families and communities by fostering inter-generational communication, which incorporate into much of work.
How did the idea of TBGP move from that of a documentary to a full-fledged organization?
I had always known that I wanted to do some type of education outreach and while completing the editing of the documentary, I looked at how some other docs used outreach. I wanted to do more than what I saw and from there the organization was born.
Tell us about the vision and mission of The Sisterhood Summit. What was last year’s theme and why was it chosen?
The vision of The Sisterhood Summit is to provide a safe space for young women to learn, share, empowered and be empowered around issues close to them. Last year’s theme was PYT: Pleasure, Youth and transformation and was born from the participants during the first year who really expressed a desire to have structured conversations about sex and sexuality.
Can we look forward to another Sisterhood Summit? What need do you think it will address?
Yes, this Fall we will have our third Sisterhood Summit. The theme for this year is Digital Daughters: Black Girls Bridging the Divide.
What are you the most proud of with respect to your work?
I’m proud of the totality of it all; the fact that I can, with collaborators, create work and a space where Black women and girls, including myself, can be empowered, nurtured and loved is something that I cherish.
As a leader and filmmaker, what community do you create to sustain yourself and your creativity?
I have a wonderful family and amazing friends — people who know and love me, know when to close in around me, and know when to give me room. When it all boils down to it, I am really an introvert but most folks think otherwise because of how I am able to be with youth and large groups of people. My time alone, as well as with loved ones, allows me to sustain myself and my creativity.
Biting off of Oprah, “what do you know for sure?”
I know that we, as black women and girls, are whole perfect and complete as we are regardless of what society tells us.
What do you want black girls to know for sure?
That no matter where they are, where they have been, what they may have done, or what they have faced, they are loved.
Where do you see yourself and TBGP in the next five years?
I’m beginning my doctoral studies in the summer, so in 5 years, I hope to be Dr. Turman. The work that I will pursue in the academy directly aligns with the work I am doing in the world, so as I expand, so will The Black Girl Project — geographically, programmatically, and influentially.
How can someone get involved with the Black Girl Project?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your interest!
Aiesha Turman is the vivacious founder of Super Hussy Media, director of The Black Girl Project documentary and Executive Director of The Black Girl Project organization. A passionate speaker, advocate and educator, she is dedicated to the liberation of Black women and girls everywhere.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter @missturman.