Girls for A Change: Preparing Black Girls for the World — and the World for Black Girls

December 13, 2020: A Note from Tony Farmer, host, Black Lives Matter Radio Show — While we have had some powerful guests on our show since we launched it this fall, we have to warn you that changemaker Angela Patton and her team of powerful girls will knock your socks off.

The CEO of Girls For A Change, based in Richmond, VA, she is among the “Top 40 under 40,” was recognized in 2016 by President Obama as a “White House Champion of Change for After School programming for Marginalized Girls of Color.” She also received the Nonprofit Partner of the Year award from the Metropolitan Business League in March 2018. Angela says the honors are appreciated, but the reason she has been recognized is that 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. Girls for A Change was born in 2013 when Camp Diva merged with this national California-based organization. Today, it works with more than 100 girls’ groups throughout the U.S.

“Together, we work together to envision and create lasting change in their 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 nearly 1 million times.

Following its 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 she isn’t inspiring change, advocating gender equality, and promoting opportunities and empowering girls, Angela says she is hanging with her family in Richmond, VA, enjoying festivals and concerts with her husband and motivator, Raymond Patton, and their loving children, Imhotep and Asani. Her interests include spending a day at the spa, visiting the Caribbean, cardio kickboxing, watching documentaries. After the coronavirus passes, she is looking forward to once again attending dinner parties with close friends.