From Girl II Goddess began when Sister Lonora "Lavender Spirit" Muhammad (Co-Founder) was invited by Sister Kaleema Sumareh to write, direct and produce a spring play for Bethune Academy (DPS) in April 2006. She allowed all children who wanted to participate to be in the production. It didn't matter if they didn't have experience or desired to be in performing arts, it was important for the children to have a voice and show their creative side.
The children began laughing and showing greater interest in the arts. Unfortunately, a change in the administration's focus didn't afford her the opportunity to continue with that service. To fulfill a need, Sister Kaleema Sumareh extended another invitation, to Mahalieka Muhammad (Co-Founder and Executive Director) to ask if we would be interested in teaching female responsibility classes to the 8th-grade girl’s class. We accepted the invitation to offer classes once per month for six months (DEC, 2006-June, 2007) thinking this would be fun and only 6 months. Never did we imagine the profound impact the classes would have on the girls and us personally.
The sessions started off slow, but after the three months, the girls expected us to return. We thought the girls weren't paying attention until the valedictorian (the most uninterested student or so we thought) began implementing several phrases and quotes from the session. Our mouths dropped and collectively we said at the same time, "they were listening".
The summer went on as usual but we just couldn’t stop thinking about the girls and the great need that was identified. So we decided to take action and continue providing self-esteem and life-skills sessions. We knew God was actively propelling us to think and create and so we met at Starbucks (Mack & Woodward in Detroit, MI) in August 2007 and from there the name From Girl II Goddess was born. Our main focus would be teaching the principles of femininity, love, and respect for self and authority, and how to act at home and in public. We were determined to offer free services so we called on our faith and went to work.
We were extended an invitation by parents LaTonya Austin and Donna Harris to provide services to girls attending Parker Elementary. We instantly fell in love with Principal Ledora Scott and she excitedly allowed us to provide free services to girls in the 7th & 8th-grade girls two hours per week.
As of today, we have served several thousand women and girls throughout Detroit and SE Michigan, teaching them and young women, the principles of femininity, how to act at home and abroad, communication skills, cooking, and sewing. We also offer community baby showers, classes on how to change burdens into blessings, proper hygiene, social skills (etiquette and fine dining skills), public speaking, respect for authority, how to atone with self and others, how to mend broken a heart, male/female relationships and mother and daughter healing sessions and more.
Our Partners (present and former) include Parker Elementary, Bethune Academy, Dossin Elementary, Muhammad University of Islam-Detroit (Respect For Life Program), CIS (Detroit), Detroit Parent Network, The 180 Program, DRMM, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, S.E.L.F. (Sisters Expressing Love First), 10000 Fearless of Detroit just to name a few.
We are loved and have been supported by some of the most phenomenal people and leadership including, but not limited to Missey Muhammad (M.G.T. & G.C.C.-Nation of Islam), Dr. Ava Muhammad (National Spokesperson to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan), Rev. Shaheerah Stephens (Transforming Love), Danni Stillwell, Frankie Darcel (92.3 FM), Gwendolyn Winston, Tamyra Brooks, Valerie Muhammad, Raphael B. Johnson, C. Kofi Kenyatta, Abdul Rahman Muhammad, Keeli Lackey and so many more.
We are also seeking new partnerships and supporters to provide life-saving and impactful services to participants. We invite you to partner with us to create more programs and services to empower youth and young adults in our community.
We’re striving to be the CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE.