Black Girl’s Summit Creates Community at Wauwatosa West


Tehana Titus

Black Girl’s Summit meets this upcoming January 31st after school.

The club encourages all black girls to join to create a sacred space specifically designed for women of color. 

Attending the Black Girl Summit at West the past 4 years has allowed Senior Olivia O’Kagbare to express problems she faces in and of school, due to the color of her skin, to a group of girls who understand. 

I kind of kept the same amount of friends basically all my life like 2-3 friends and nothing, you know, too serious. And they weren’t all black. So when something happened to me in school where I felt like I was called out for being a black girl, you know, me telling my white friends what happened, I felt like they couldn’t relate to me. So when I heard about the club, at first I didn’t know exactly what it was. But I just knew that there were going to be black girls there, and I could feel more comfortable in a space to just, you know, talk, it didn’t even have to be anything deep, but just being able to stay there. And just feel comfortable.” O’Kagbare said. 

O’Kagbare believes that it’s important that there is a space designed for black girls specifically. 

“And there were just certain issues that black girls had to talk about amongst ourselves that we felt we really couldn’t do in life, in white spaces, or even BSU, because there are also guys there and there are certain issues that they wouldn’t be able to understand or relate to. So Black Girl’s summit was formed to essentially just be able to focus on black women, because we aren’t the focus and in a lot of spaces.”O’Kagbare said. 

Rebecca Kurtzman originally started the Black Girls Summit back in 2018 because there was a black male leadership club and thought there should also be a space to empower black females. 

Ms. Kong is the current advisor of the BGS this year and enjoys being able to listen to the girls’ experiences. 

“So the reason why I wanted to make sure that I continued after Mrs. Kurtzman left is because I had gone to some other meetings. And honestly, I just wanted to learn and understand more about the black girl experience. To me, it’s just such an important thing, especially because I’m teaching a lot of black girls. I wanted to be able to understand, kind of, from their perspective, like how things were for them. I understand it from an Asian female perspective, but not from a black female perspective. So honestly, the reason why I wanted to lead this club was just to learn more to become more educated myself.” Kong said. 

Ms. Kong thinks the club creates a sense of community not only in but also out of school. 

“The biggest club goal overall is just to create a really good comradery . Among black girls at our school. I think the whole purpose of this club was to create a safe space where we can just talk about problems, triumphs that black girls have to go through every day. And that’s really the whole purpose behind our club.”