Sisters in Strength – Lansing (SISL) is a youth organizing program for 15 teens of color, entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the tri-county area of Mid-Michigan (Ingham, Clinton, Eaton Counties). Programming is shaped both by the unique needs and interests of the SISL youth organizers, and by The Firecracker Foundation’s vision, mission, and goals. SISL does community organizing around gender-based violence and confronts the multiple layers of individual and institutional discrimination that threaten the safety of girls and women.
Facilitated by Firecracker Peer Support Staff and volunteers, the SISL groups will meet biweekly for a total of four hours for 20 weeks. The 2019-2020 session will be held in 2 semesters to coincide with the school year; mid-September through December 2019 and early February 2020 through May 2020. The curriculum will be facilitated by staff trained by TFF and offer participating teens a stipend for participation. The focus will be to give youth context for examining cycles of violence and trauma, as well as tools for exploring identity, autonomy, and healing from a youth-centered perspective. The program will encourage teens to assume leadership roles within their larger communities through understanding and disrupting the culture of silence, avoidance, and shame around topics pertaining to sexual violence within our intimate, personal, shared and community spaces. Concepts including intergenerational restorative justice and healing justice will be introduced and practiced by the group.