“We are changing the game and changing the conversation. We want to embed the notions that girls of color are important and pivotal as key players in the next generation of global leaders. We want to reconfigure the image of girls of color and neutralize the negative stereotypes to show a full range of success. Our blog, Listening 2 G.U.R.L.S. Rock,SM serves as a post of relevant and important issues and messages to reconfigure the conversation on opportunity supporting girls of color as future global leaders.
Making History. Making a Difference.
G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program Adopts
Beasts of the Southern Wild for Leadership Training
G.U.R.L.S. RockCEO, Dr. Raye Mitchell states, “It’s not just a great movie; it is a great educational training tool about the power of innovation, imagination, courage, diversity/inclusion, self-acceptance/positive images and commitment to excellence.”
justice and equality. Both Harvard and Wharton Business Schools deliver state-of-the-art leadership training for future corporate leaders based on The Wire. “We are preparing future global leaders at the G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program, so it makes sense to use the same type of leadership training tools employed at leading educational institutions. Beasts of the Southern Wild is an important tool to help youth and girls develop their leadership and life preparedness skills. Young actress Quvenzhané Wallisis an important positive role model for girls of color.”
In the weeks counting down to the 85th Academy Awards ceremony, the cast and crew of Beasts of the Southern Wild are enjoying their well-earned recognition. The film has emerged from a small independent movie and the star of the Sundance Film Festival to a viable Oscar contender. It has been nominated for four awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis); Ms. Wallis, now 9, is the youngest best actress ever nominated in that category. To its long list of credentials, Beasts of the Southern Wild can now boast that it is being used as a leadership-training tool to assist youth, especially girls, in developing as global leaders and visionary thinkers.
While Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantasy, the story delivers important messages about real life. Girls who view the film can learn much about imagination, change, fear, courage, self-love, and acceptance. This movie offers lessons in almost everything a girl needs to develop as a global leader: diversity inclusion, self-esteem and self-acceptance, motivation, innovation, perseverance, loss, and recovery. Mitchell states that “this movie not only contributes excellence to the motion picture industry, it is a tool that can prepare the next generation of global leaders to use the power of innovation, imagination, and fresh thinking to open doors and find new solutions to old problems.”
Beasts of the Southern Wild is an independent film that made it to the top on its own terms. By not necessarily being an insider, the film teaches girls and girls of color the value of taking risks and stepping away from following the expected routes to success. It also teaches important stories about rejecting the negative stereotypes of girls of color in media and entertainment. Neither Quvenzhané Wallisnor Dwight Henry, the leading actors who play daughter Hushpuppy and her father Wink, had prior acting experience. This makes their achievement all the more impressive. It teaches us all to dream big and that dreams can indeed come true even for the little ‘gal.’Next, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantasy, but the wisdom shared by Hushpuppy spills out into the real world because of her innocent, yet sophisticated observations of reality. The movie is a fascinating presentation of the skillful use of imagination and fresh thinking. Because the story is told from the viewpoint of six-year-old Hushpuppy, it offers an opportunity for any girl, and especially a girl of color, to envision herself as a leader in a crisis. The movie and the main character also demonstrate valuable lessons about the management of loss, disappointment, and recovery. Furthermore, the movie provides content suitable for leadership lessons about cultural competency, tolerance, and diversity. The movie presents people of differing ethnicities and skin color—both black and white—depicted in circumstances that most would classify as utter poverty; still, there is harmony in ‘the Bathtub. There is community in ‘the Bathtub” where one generation engages in the orderly transfer of knowledge to the next generation. There is almost an organic formation of alliances in the face of emerging catastrophes and the implication that only by working past racial, gender, and age-based differences can we not only survive, but master the catastrophes that lie ahead.In short, Beasts of the Southern Wild is an engaging and entertaining leadership-training tool that delivers spunk, belief in self, and a natural comfort with self-image and acceptance. Regardless of Beasts’ success at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24, 2013, at G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program, the movie lives on as a vital educational and leadership training tool for innovation, diversity inclusion, fresh thinking, and the power of creating community.
About G.U.R.L.S. Rock Global Leadership Program:Founded in 2010 by practicing attorney-turned-social entrepreneur Dr. Raye Mitchell, G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program is a global leadership-training initiative of The New Reality Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As a social entrepreneur program celebrating the importance of girls and girls of color as the next generation of global leaders, the Oakland, California-based G.U.R.L.S. Rock has a different approach to supporting the growth and development of girls of color, ages 8 to 18. “G.U.R.L.S.” stands for Growth, Unity, Respect, Leadership, Success. To learn more about G.U.R.L.S. Rock, please visit www.GurlsRock.org and www.fb.com/GurlsRockPower.
About Dr. Raye MitchellDr. Raye Mitchell is a social entrepreneur, humanitarian, writer, public speaker, and innovation expert with over 30 years of experience in business, marketing, and branding in the entertainment industry and the legal profession, leading her own law firm and related corporate enterprises. Raye Mitchell earned a BS in public policy from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Dr. Mitchell has earned critical acclaim for service to her community and she has received numerous awards and recognitions. She is the author of The Evolution of Brilliance: Voices Celebrating the Importance of Women (2011)and the forthcoming book, The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to make breakthrough impacts that take you forward (Spring 2013). For more information, visit www.rayemitchell.com.
About Beasts of the Southern WildThe 2012 film,Beasts of the Southern Wild, is an American fantasy drama directed by Benh Zeitlin and co-written by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar. The film is nominated for four Academy Awards in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis). At the age of 9, Wallis is the youngest person ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. For more information about the film, visit: www.beastsofthesouthernwild.com.
2011 Year in Review
To Promote Self-esteem and Confidence Among Girls and Women
G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program is acting in unity with the Confidence Coalition to support girls and women in building positive experiences and confidence. “We are honored to join the Coalition, which includes such prestigious members as Geena Davis' Institute on Gender in Media, Girl Scouts of the USA, The White House Project, CARE International, and others," said Dr. Raye Mitchell, CEO of the G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program.
New book supports G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership
“The Evolution of Brilliance,” a bridge to charity
Dr. Raye Mitchell demonstrates that leading women in America have much in common with girls from 8 – 18 years old. Mitchell placed words of self-respect and success from notable female role models, past and present, into the inspiring anthology. The Evolution of Brilliance: Voices Celebrating the Importance of Women (ISBN: 0-97-86658-2-1) offers refreshing views of life and the numerous roles of women in it. To extend the connection with girls even further, proceeds from the sales of this anthology support New Reality Foundation’s G.U.R.L.S. Rock Leadership Program.