Girls Rock! Rhode Island is a volunteer-based non-profit that uses music creation and critical thinking to foster empowerment, collaborative relationships, and the development of healthy identities in girls, women, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals.
We envision a world in which gender and identity are assets, not limitations, and where girls and women actively claim their own strengths and expertise to pursue goals of their own design.
Music as a Force for Change
We focus on music’s ability to mobilize, unify, and invigorate people to create social change. Music is a powerful tool that connects individual expression to collective thoughts, emotions, and actions. Creating music within a band requires not only collaboration, respect, and support, but also individual effort, skill building, and expression. Our goal is to use music’s unifying force to empower individuals and communities to join together and create positive change for themselves and for society as a whole.
We encourage critical analysis of systems of oppression, such as racism, classism, and heterosexism, particularly when manifested in media and popular culture. Creating this dialogue provides individuals with the tools they need to take positive action against these systems.
Girls and Women
We believe that, in a culture that values girls and women for their appearance and sexuality rather than their character, they need support to create a strong sense of identity and self. We are committed to expanding traditional conceptions of and conversations about gender. We welcome girls, women, trans-identified, and gender-variant individuals in our programming. We also encourage, support, and collaborate with male allies.
Do it Yourself! Do it Together!
We believe in the do-it-yourself spirit that empowers individuals to act and create on their own. We also believe that we are stronger together. The process of creation and self-expression develops personal ownership and self-efficacy, which are transferable life skills that need not be fostered in isolation. We share skills and learn from each other in a safe, supportive, intergenerational environment in which positive modeling, room for experimentation, and feedback are valued.
Process and Product
We recognize the power and the possibility in the creative process. We value our time together and what we make as precious and potent. We celebrate the process of creating by reframing mistakes as opportunities to push our thinking and move beyond fear. We support each other in moments of doubt and awkwardness, knowing it takes bravery to risk failure. We support and promote growth by respecting experimentation, critical engagement and challenging creative boundaries.
We encourage learning and leadership at all levels: staff, board, program participants, and volunteers. We listen to each other openly and actively to make intentional decisions together. We celebrate each individual’s skills and potential, cultivating a diversity of leadership models. We commit to elevating girls and women to leadership roles to facilitate positive modeling in a supportive female environment.
We start from a basis of mutual respect. Each individual’s unique qualities and perspectives are valuable and shape our community. We believe that when individuals feel good about who they are, respect themselves, and appreciate others, they will resist arrogance and competition, instead lifting each other up.