Swirls for Girls has 7 charter members who helped start the organization and attended the first meeting in November 2008: Adara, Annisa, Christian, Falon, Isabella, Jillian, Madison, Savannah, and Tofi.
Swirls for Girls co-founders: Savannah, Jennifer and Jillian Taylor
In the case of many multicultural girls their environments don’t always reflect their cultural diversity. They simply don’t look or feel like the girls around them. Finding themselves stuck between multi-ethnicities/multi-cultures/multi worlds, they may never feel fully accepted or understood.
As girls struggle to define themselves, none of the labels society gives them seem quite right.
Swirls for Girls was originally founded in Fall of 2008 by Jennifer Taylor, an on-the-go mom. Jennifer took on the title of “working mom” with the swift ease of Wonder Woman. The results of her efforts were evident in the smart, inquisitive, well-mannered, yet creative and adventurous three children she and her husband worked hard to manage. Everything seemed to be right on track in raising her children to be the adults she hoped they would become, but something stood out to her. Jennifer began to notice that Savannah, her then 10-year-old daughter, lacked confidence. She was smart, kind, well-liked by her peers and, of course, a beautiful girl, yet she was so shy and did not project the confidence in herself which her mom thought she should have. So one day, Jennifer just came right out and asked her why she lacked belief in herself. Savannah’s response blew her mom away. Savannah thought she was ‘different’ than the other kids at school. Savannah is a half Black / half Filipino girl growing up in a neighborhood and school that had very few Black children. This was it! After 10 years of reading parenting books, magazine articles and researching the internet on how to deal with and understand the emotional and psychological needs and inner-conflicts of an interracial child (and trying to find the best hair care solution), Swirls for Girls was born.
Diligently researching articles and blogs, Jennifer discovered that a major issue facing interracial girls and women is that they don’t have anyone to talk to. Parents could educate their child about their respective cultures, but what about hybrids? How do you discuss racism? What about hair care? Superstitions? Religion? Most parents can only relate to their own identified culture and can, therefore, only contribute to what they know. In her research, Jennifer discovered multicultural girls just wanted to talk to someone who looked like them, who could relate to them.
Jennifer was determined to create a forum for her daughters, Savannah and Jillian, to meet with other girls with some commonality. Sometimes girls don’t need (or want) their mothers to talk to. They want to talk to someone who “looks like them” and can relate to what they’re going through; role models and mentors. Jennifer reached out to her sister, Ailene, and friends Lourdes, Mailia, Dorothy, Felicia, Jeannine and Jolie to discuss the concept for an organization with the goal to support and inspire each girl through culturally diverse interactive education, mentorship, friendship and activities.
The rest is history.