Changemaker Angela Patton is the CEO of Girls For A Change. Based in Richmond, VA, she is among the “Top 40 under 40,” and was recognized in 2016 by President Obama as a “White House Champion of Change for After School programming for Marginalized Girls of Color.” This powerhouse also received the Nonprofit Partner of the Year award from the Metropolitan Business League in March 2018.
Angela says she is committed to “preparing black girls for the World — and the world for black girls.” Her journey began in 2004 when she founded Camp Diva to honor 5-year-old Diva Mstadi Smith-Roan, who was killed in a firearm accident earlier that year. Angela planned a two- week summer experience to allow Diva’s mom to share her love with other girls, especially those in need of a support system.
In 2013, Camp Diva merged with the California-based organization Girls for A Change, and under Angela’s guidance, it began to grow nationally. Today, the organization works with more than 100 girls’ groups throughout the U.S.
“Together, we envision and create lasting change in our nation’s neighborhoods, cities, and schools,” explains Angela, whose TED talk describing a father-daughter dance for incarcerated dads and their “at-promise” girls has been viewed over 900,000 times.
Following its YouTube release, Angela’s work was featured on ABC World News, Inside Edition, NPR, and This is Life Lisa Ling. She has been in demand from corporations, at conferences on girls, and colleges and universities throughout the country.
When Angela isn’t inspiring change, advocating for gender equality, and promoting opportunities the empower girls, the Richmond, VA native says she can be found enjoying festivals and concerts with her husband and motivator, Raymond Patton, and their loving children, Imhotep and Asani. Angela’s interests include spending a day at the spa, visiting the Caribbean, cardio kickboxing, and watching documentaries. “After the coronavirus passes, I am very much looking forward to once again attending dinner parties with close friends,” she adds.
Pictured above are three of the girls from the program that Inkandescent’s radio show host Tony Farmer interviewed, along with Angela, on the Sunday, Dec. 13 episode of the Black Lives Matter Radio Show!
Check out their impressive bios below.
- Noelle Massenburg: “I am a high school sophomore and have been a part of Girls for A Change for about a year. I joined at the start of the pandemic, and although my experience hasn’t been typical of many of the other girls, I know that this is an amazing program with great benefits and opportunities. Being in this program has made me feel like I matter. The people running it care for my well-being. Everyone is so welcoming, and I have enjoyed myself so far, and I look forward to continuing with it for years to come.”
- Jayla Banks: “I am a senior at Manchester High School in Richmond, VA, where I am enrolled in the Spanish immersion program. I have been in the Girl Ambassador Program with Girls for a Change for the last two years.”
- Iyanna Hardin: “I am a junior at K12 Virginia Virtual Academy here in my hometown of Richmond, VA. When I’m not studying or running my own company — Iyanna Mone Essentials, which makes glam essentials for women and girls — I am working as the face of Girls for a Change as its brand ambassador. I have been apart of this organization since 7th grade and have participated in Camp Diva, the Creative Industry Camp, Immersion Lab Program. Girls for A Change has opened up my mind to endless possibilities over the past five years and has taught me so much about the importance of being a black girl.”
Listen to our Podcast interview on www.BlackLivesMatterTV.us