(Kyra Williams speaking about "SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection" at REC Philly for the Black Music City grantee celebration on Juneteenth. Photo by Craig Lewis.)
SIMBY has turned one and we're raising $25,000 for our second year of service! These funds will cover:
- Our outdoor exhibit, SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection; venue, food, drinks, display, decor, and production fees not covered by the Black Music City grant
- A production budget for our next project
- Workshop stipends
- Tech hardware & software
- The final $1,000 we need to officially incorporate as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Founded by Kyra Williams, Stories In My Backyard (SIMBY) is a Philadelphia based art, education and social change nonprofit that provides online and in-person learning to Black womxn and girls through arts workshops and clubs, community events, and creative content. We are a Black womxn led initiative that believes in the power of Black storytelling, amplifying Black femxle voices and tapping into our imagination for liberation. Our goal is to create social awareness and action through art, discussions, and environments that tackle social justice issues impacting our livelihood. We’re molding creative social change agents of the future and uplifting the change makers of today. To extend our reach, we've officially partnered with the Philadelphia School District's TV Station (PSTV) to host workshops for Black womxn and girls ages 13-24.
Since our soft launch on July 27, 2020, we've held a virtual screening and discussion of "Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools," hosted two virtual workshops -- SIMBY Essentials: iPhone Photography for high schoolers and The Black Girl Photo Club for middle schoolers-- and our founder, Kyra Williams, won the Black Music City grant to honor Philly's Black music history. As published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kyra Williams is one of 23 creatives out of 600 applicants to receive the grant sponsored by REC Philly, WXPN-FM, and WRTI-FM. After using this opportunity to continue to provide online and in-person arts education to Black womxn and girls as she does with SIMBY, her photography project is finally set to debut to the public with a fundraiser and outdoor photo exhibit on August 14, 2021 but we need your help to make it happen.
If you'd like to send a monetary gift outside of GoFundMe, here is our information:
Cash App: $StoriesInMyBackyard
For the project description, tickets, and event info, click here.
Thank you all so much for your overall support of our arts education vision and for your investment in Black womxn and girls through this campaign. Please spread the word and bring the whole family to learn about the legacies of Black womxn in music from our city. We look forward to seeing you later this summer to celebrate this project and SIMBY's first year of service!
To see the impact of our photography workshops with Black girls in Philly, check out this recap video ! A few testimonials from our work are also quoted below:
"For me...this documentary kind of helped me figure out how I want to reposition...my identity as an administrator and how I want to use my platform now that I'm in this role to support young Black girls.”
- Philadelphia Educator Turned Assistant Principal, Pushout Screening and Discussion 2020
"Thank you guys for all the tips and advice from editing and how to take photos to social injustice...and honestly how to be women!"
"I enjoyed the club. I love the fact that you guys encouraged us to turn on our cameras. You made the program have purpose while also educating us with art and history. It was very inspirational and it definitely motivated me.
- High School Black Girls, SIMBY Essentials: iPhone Photography 2020
"This was fun, I really enjoyed it!"
- Middle School Black Girl, SIMBY Presents: The Black Girl Photo Club
"Had the best time @recphilly #blackmusiccity event. Swipe to see @thekyrawilliams incredible photo series she showcased today. Our souls immediately connected talking about mental health and educating & empowering young Black women through art, music, & history. #cityofbrotherlyloveandsisterlyaffection"
-Patron of the Black Music City Grantee Celebration
You can also follow us on social media:
Facebook: Stories In My Backyard
- Beaufort Jenkins
- Oliver Williams
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