The Rebel Bells Collective is a program based on a social justice framework and targeted to but not limited to young girls of color from the Calumet Region.
Please consider supporting a new girls' group in the Calumet Region: REBEL BELLS. In this community girls will experience activities, ideas, and support from intergenerational mentors while making friends and having fun in an environment that aims to grow a positive, powerful, caring identity anchored in social justice. I've had the good fortune and opportunity to contribute to the development of this group and I am thrilled that it is ready to launch. Help us out, if you can. There are plenty of materials we could use to help make the experience meaningful and fun. - Kristen Todd Frank
The objective is to create a place where they can heal from living in a culture of patriarchy and learn the skills necessary to break free from limitations often associated with identifying as female. We will focus on the root causes of womens oppression in order to build powerful experiences that are crucial for young girls and women to recognize they are valuable and important.
RB’s are meeting from 10am – 2pm once a month, the 1st Saturday of every month with special field trips in between. The first unit is Radical Beauty and after 3 sessions the participants earn a patch/button for the unit. The first year will include the following 4 Units:
My Culture - My Community
Here is an example of what the first 3 months will look like: Drum Circles start and end every session – this is a way to sync up and get hyped up for the day. Music and Art are very important and will be an integral part of the RB’s. Next, the collective will develop Acuerdos with the girls. This is a list of agreements that will form the rules for how the RB's want to be treated and what the RB’s expect of each other. The collective will be using “circles” and talking-sticks to foster trust within the collective. It will also help develop good listening and communication skills.
Talking about current events as it relates to the theme of radical beauty is also crucial to the project – countering the negative messages currently in the media will help foster critical thinking about what beauty is. On the first day, the topic of discussion before playing the Human Barometer Game, will be about the fierce Olympians that took Brazil by storm.
#Blackgirlmagic was in full effect with athletes like Michelle Carter. “My Black Girl Magic is in my versatility. One thing that I love to do in sport is change my hair. Having the ability to look different every time I compete if I want to is Black Girl Magic. In life and in sport, just being able to adapt and keep pressing forward no matter what is going on around me is magic. It’s being unapologetically you and being the best you you can be.” —Michelle Carter, two-time Olympian, shot put
The curriculum includes a discussion about award winning musician, Alicia Keys, and the backlash she received for chosing not to wear makeup to the VMA’s. Juxtaposing how Michelle Carter chose to take time to apply lipstick before receiving her gold medal in the shotput competition and Alicia Keys not wearing make up on the red carpet is one way to discuss who and what is considered beautiful and why.
The RB’s will also learn about living with a disability and how Art can help overcome some hardships. We will be lifting up Frida Kahlo’s life story. More importantly, we will lift up the story of a local artisan that uses jewelry making as a way to supplement her income but also to cope with her own disability.
To conclude the Radical Beauty Unit, the RB’s will be constructing their own canvasses, preping the canvass and ultimetly painting their own self-portraits. We welcome any size donation.
Your contribution to this project is very much needed.
Our hope is that you see how important and valuable a project like this is and how it could impact the lives of our young girls. Where would you be today if you or the women in your life were Rebel Bells when you were younger?
Here are some of the RB's playing at the Vodak Library while the mentors were planning out the curriculum.
Thank you to the mentors and friends (pictured above) that have contributed to the creation of this project. It's been a long 6 months but we are ready.
Special thank you also to: Kristen Frank, Asif Wilson, Maria "Lulu" Moreno, Azieb Abraha, Frances Ramirez, Marta Frank