More than 400 Black girls, ages 11-18, were surveyed for the study. Black Girl Rising Research™ is groundbreaking in size, subject, and scope.

It is the first research of its kind in the state of Ohio and the largest in the nation. The study was conducted in four Ohio cities: Akron, Columbus, Dayton, and Lima. Each city has a population of Black girls higher than the state average, are medium to large urban areas, and the counties in which the cities are located have higher percentages of children living in poverty and youth adjudicated for felonies.

Recruitment Methods

This study was specially designed for community engagement. Women leaders and women who represent organizations and agencies that target their services and programs to adolescent African American girls were invited to serve as conveners for this project in their cities. In each city, Steering Committees were formed. Each committee was responsible for recruiting girls for a focus group and surveys, organizing a girls’ resiliency conference, participating in a community dialogue about the data, presenting their local results to stakeholders, and creating action plans that include a focus on programming and funding for sustaining long-term resiliency in African American girls.

Who Are The Girls

The study was limited to African American girls ages, 11 to 18 years old. The girls selected were representative of all African American girls who live in that city, regardless of economics and living arrangements. The majority of girls surveyed were in high school (58%; 42% were in middle school). Surveys were collected from 125 girls in Akron, 101 girls in Columbus, 109 girls in Dayton, and 74 girls in Lima.

Collective Work And Responsibility

The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which urban adolescent African American girls experience their world and the ways in which they are affected by these experiences. It is the intent of this study to build an understanding of what their self-care looks like; their social relationships, school performance, views of themselves, and how they see other girls in relation to themselves. We want to know who are the significant adults, role models and/or mentors in their lives and what roles do they play in the development of the girls’ resiliency skills? In what ways do the disparities and barriers to their well being prevent services and programs necessary for healthier life choices and outcomes? What is the role of the communities in which these girls live?

Black Girl Research Reports

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What Do We Know About 411 African American Girls, Ages 11-18 years old in 4 Ohio Cities?

  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Akron
  • Lima

While Black girls have some opportunities to keep them strong, the trauma they experience results in risky behaviors and emotional functioning related in the data. In addition to building strength and increasing resiliency, the trauma our girls are experiencing needs much more attention from all of us.