We are so excited to share this nonprofit spotlight featuring Lovin’ The Skin I’m In!!!
According to a 2014 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there is no state worse for African-Americans than Wisconsin. From people already living here, to those looking for a better future, Wisconsin comes in last. It is ranked last in the disparity between white children and their non-white peers, in educational skills, home environments, and income, and worst in the nation for the well-being of black children. Wisconsin is ranked with Michigan and Mississippi for the worst record on African-American educational and financial achievement.
Fast forward to 2015, my family and I relocated to the Green Bay area for a job opportunity. I quickly realized there was a lack of diversity in my neighborhood, community, place of employment, and my children’s schools.
My daughters no longer had teachers, peers, or professionals that looked like them. They were bullied, harassed, mocked, and ridiculed because of their hairstyles, hair texture, and skin color. To be honest, they were the brunt of racist jokes, comments, and microaggressions.
I saw firsthand how not only being the new girls, but the only girls of color, slowly chipped away at their self-esteem and confidence. They no longer felt good about who they were created to be.
After a few years of living here and trying to work through what my daughters endured, I met other mothers whose daughters were having similar experiences. As a mother and Social Worker, I knew something had to be done.
I did some research and did not find any resources or programs in the immediate area to give my daughters the role modeling they needed. So, I decided to create a space at my home where girls were free to be themselves, relax and have important conversations about self-esteem, confidence, what they were dealing with in schools, and the racial and social injustice that is prevalent in our country.
We met monthly in person until the pandemic happened. So we went virtual and appropriately socially distanced while volunteering in the community and participating in extracurricular activities to foster sisterhood.
Over the past year, I have realized the increasing need for this service, so I started my journey to entrepreneurship by forming this nonprofit: Lovin’ The Skin I’m In.
Our programming will consist of educating and teaching life skills, financial literacy, volunteering, providing experiences and opportunities outside of their communities. We will host a Summer Camp, community conversations between teens and women, and take the girls on a Historically Black College & University Tour. Our social cause is for the betterment of black girls and to ensure that they are mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy and become leaders and visionaries of tomorrow’s world.
To learn more about Lovin’ The Skin I’m In, visit their website Lovin’ The Skin I’m In (lovinmyskinwi.com). Please support them on social as well! Lovin The Skin I’m In | Facebook & Rhonda Chandler (@lovn_my_skin) • Instagram photos and videos
A wife, mother, and Social Worker of twenty years. Rhonda obtained her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University and her Masters of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University. Early on Rhonda knew she wanted to work with children in some capacity. During her career, she has worked in various employment settings advocating for the voiceless and working with individuals birth through 90+ years of age. She has experience in crisis intervention, psychosocial assessments, individual/family therapy, problem-solving, serving on multidisciplinary teams, collaborating, and connecting with families and organizations. She has been a member of the Service League of Green Bay and has volunteered in the local community.