GenZ Girl Gang on Community and Activism
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
GenZ Girl Gang is collective and community focused on empowering young girls through education, awareness, opportunities, and more.
The following questions were answered by the GenZ Girl Gang board as a whole.
Aspirants: When did GenZ Girl Gang begin? And how?
GenZ Girl Gang (further referenced as GGG): We announced in March 2019 and used stories to give our community the power to vote and give suggestions on everything from logo to mission statement. From the start, we’ve centered our community’s voices.
Aspirants: Where did the idea come from?
GGG: GGG grew out of my experience moving to NYC and redefining my community from just who lives around me to people who share my experience. This was also an opportunity for me to explore a digital realm and transition my skills as a community organizer to a new and growing digital space.
Aspirants: What sets GenZ Girl Gang apart from others like it?
GGG: We prioritize community sourced content and find new and unique ways to use a platform like Instagram to engage w/ our community members. Everything from our live shows to opportunities to cast and crew on campaigns are by and from our community members.
Aspirants: Your mission statement is to “redefine sisterhood for a new generation through bridging generational gaps, creating and sharing opportunities, and learning from and teaching each other”—what exactly does that mean in terms of actionable steps?
GGG: The way we work to achieve our goal of redefining sisterhood for a new generation through bridging generational gaps, creating and sharing opportunities, and learning from and teaching each other changes as our audience provides us feedback. We do everything from takeovers by older mentors on Mondays, sharing other organization’s events and opportunities, and creating connections among our community members. We have both an online and on real life presence and have hosted both events and meet ups in partnership with community organizations.
Aspirants: How can people get involved?
GGG: Our first entry point is obviously following to join our community. You can also engage with us on social by tagging us or using hashtags #MyGGG or #GenZGirlGang. If you’re already doing that, you can apply to become apart of our ever growing ambassador program or upcoming chats. We’re also always adding people to our leadership team and always choose leaders from our most engaged community members.
The following questions are answered individually by members on the GGG board.
Aspirants: Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you? What are you passionate about?
Pranjal Jain, Associate Director: My name is Pranjal Jain. I’m 18 years old and a social justice organizer and activist. I am the associate director of Gen Z Girl Gang. I am passionate about furthering womens’ rights, immigrants’ rights, and fusing my Indian and American identity in all the work that I do. I aim to represent my community fully in all the spaces I am fortunate to be in. I am very passionate about uplifting and empowering the voices of others, especially womxn internationally!
Arielle Geismar, Associate Director: I’m Arielle, a Jewish youth activist passionate about mental health advocacy, gun violence prevention, and women’s rights, amongst a host of other intersections. I serve as the Associate Director of GenZ Girl Gang, collaborating with an incredible team to create impactful campaigns. My personal experiences have translated into a passion for encouraging self-care and empowerment. I’m currently taking a gap year to work on social justice!
Why is this organization important to you?
Pranjal: GenZ Girl Gang is important to me because it is everything I wanted when I was younger. I remember spending hours googling ways to get involved in the social impact field, and never finding anything open to young people. I remember seeking a group of womxn who would support me instead of tearing me down. I remember looking for mentors and people who believed in their power just as much as I believed in my own power. GGG gives me and all the other womxn who are apart of our community just that. It is so rewarding to be on the flip end of things, and to be offering these opportunities, mentorships, and community to young girls and womxn. GGG makes me feel like I am working to create the world that I want myself and upcoming generations to live in.
Arielle: GenZ Girl Gang has been absolutely pivotal in my work as a young organizer. GGG is a community of incredible women and femmes and has shown me the power of a small, kickass, devoted team of young people. Our work is sourced by members of our community, creating a true grassroots structure.
What does the concept of community mean to you?
Pranjal: Community is a group of people who are mutually invested in each other’s success. It’s a group of people who support and believe in you, but more than that, a community is a place where members are respected, and their voices are uplifted as much as possible.
Arielle: Community, and especially this GenZ Girl Gang community, means having each others’ back and investing in one another. One of the most powerful things I’ve been taught working with GGG is that our personal and communal success is interconnected. When one of us wins, we all win. GGG is devoted to sharing knowledge amongst each other, working to break down barriers to gatekeeping in varying institutions. Through initiatives like Demand and Disrupt, GenZ Girl Gang is sharing knowledge amongst young people, women and femmes especially, that taking up space in professional fields is powerful, and that our generation is bringing in a new style to the traditional workplace.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer people about to start their own organizations?
Pranjal: Rediscover your own personal network! The inclination is to go out and look for support in outer circles, but I think the most helpful people to kickstart your organization will be those that already exist in your personal network. They most likely will know you well and therefore will understand and buy-into your vision for the organization.
Arielle: Look at what’s already out there! It’s possible others are already doing the work. Also utilize your community! You can do a lot with a little. Be kind to yourself while you do this work -- you can’t pour from an empty glass. Put yourself first.