When Rosa Thompson, Advanced Learning Teacher Leader at Schenk Elementary and Founder of the Black Girl Magic Conference, had the idea to unite young Black girls in Madison for a day of empowerment and academic engagement, she drew on her own experience of growing up here and attending MMSD with limited cultural diversity in her classrooms and community.
Thompson’s goal was to create an inspirational experience for Black girls by introducing them to successful Black women in Madison, connecting them with their peers and fostering a supportive environment promoting resilience and community.
With support from MMSD and a host of community partners, Thompson organized the first Black Girl Magic Conference in 2018 with 80 girls at the Goodman Community Center on Madison’s near east side.
In 2019, 550 girls from across MMSD in fourth through seventh grades attended the conference at a larger venue, Madison College.
This year's event was canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 conference would have been the biggest Black Girl Magic event yet, evolving into a two-day conference with 1,000 girls; 500 girls on each day, at Madison College.
Rosa worked with many Black women community leaders to coordinate workshops featuring STEM activities, Health & Wellness topics and career exploration in art, technology and architecture for the attendees.
"Black Girl Magic will be back in Madison in full force next school year, for our girls," says Rosa.
Check out Schenk Elementary School’s Rosa Thompson as she describes this inspirational experience for Black girls in Madison and beyond!
- Marlita Bevenue