Black Girls Resilience Leadership Academy (BGRLA)

"Everybody looks like me'. The fact is that we have a diverse population of students at Northeast and very few adults in the building that 'look like them.' The fact that these positive women can help us fill that need has been amazing."

Darla Berks

Associate Principal, Lincoln Northeast High School
"When I heard about the Black Leadership Program, I was excited to go. I did not know what to expect at all and did not know who would be there after my first meeting, I completely fell in love. It made me feel better about myself in every way, not just as a black person, but as a woman and student. I felt empowered to be all three of these things and more, and I felt as if it was a break away from school to focus on me and learn how to better myself."

Name Withheld

BGLRA Student at Northeast High School
"Carrie Heitman and I met with Antoinette Burton and the Humanities Without Walls staff on Thursday, December 10th... Antoinette agreed with us that the Black Girls Resilience Leadership Academy is an excellent candidate for the UNL Reciprocity and Redistribution seed grant...for $10,000 to support the Academy."

Katherine Walter

Retired Co-Director,
Center for Digital Research in the Humanities,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

We, the members of the Lincoln Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated are excited about expanding our Black Girls’ Resilience Leadership Academy program to all Lincoln Public High Schools for the 2024 calendar year.

We began the academy in fall 2019, working solely with Northeast High School. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we paused the program in 2020. We are restarting it in 2024.

After much deliberation, we decided to open up the program to Black girls in LPS, ages 14 to 18 in grades 9 to 12. We define “Black girls” to include Black or African American, African, bi-racial Black, and Black multi-racial individuals who identify as girls. This program is partially funded by Humanities Without Walls.

The Black Girls’ Resilience Leadership Academy (BGRLA) is designed to provide mentorship for:

  • Young women, who have potential, but need guidance, support and skills to achieve success.
  • Young women who are interested in developing leadership skills.
  • Young women who are actively pursuing college and/or career options.
  • Young women who need encouragement and support in pursuit of higher learning.

We seek to offer a road map for Black girls through activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth. Accordingly, our goals are:

  • To instill the need to excel academically;
  • To provide tools that enable participants to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
  • To assist participants in proper goal setting and planning for their futures in high school and beyond;
  • To create compassionate, caring, and community-minded young women by encouraging them to be actively involved in community service opportunities.

To meet these goals, we will expose students to a range of humanities and arts activities, taking advantage of programming at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the Mary Riepma Ross Theater, the Sheldon Museum of Art, and other local venues.

In addition, we will host virtual humanities workshops, introducing the girls to various Black women scholars across the United States, with an emphasis on those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Lastly, we will sponsor an HBCU College Tour in spring 2024, for eligible participants. For application CLICK HERE.