About Us

The Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) is a Black feminist mentoring, civic engagement and service learning advocacy program designed to educate and train young middle and high school age women in South Los Angeles to take ownership of their school-communities. 

Since 2006 WLP has been based at South L.A. high schools such as Gardena High School, Washington Prep High School, King-Drew Medical Magnet, Dorsey High and Duke Ellington Continuation School.

Using a Black feminist humanist curriculum with a social justice lens, the WLP program is designed to empower young women of color to develop their own voices, self-identity, political agency, and healthy relationships, while promoting critical consciousness about and activism around sexual and domestic violence prevention, racial justice, gender justice and LGBTQIA+ empowerment to prepare for college, careers and community leadership.

WLP guides young women through school-community advocacy projects of their own choosing, toward helping them develop and sharpen their critical thinking, writing, collaboration and leadership skills. WLP’s four-year college going rate for graduating seniors is significantly above that of the general population of its home schools.  Over the past several years, WLP alumni have been admitted to and attended UCLA, UC Irvine, Syracuse University, the College of Hobart and William, Cal State Long Beach, Northridge and Dominguez as well as UCLA Medical School.

#SayHerName poster demo @ Gardena HS, 2018

WLP Core Programs Features

Kim Ortiz (author), Brianna Parnell, Alondra Garcia, Sikivu Hutchinson, Eclasia Wesley and Liz Tecuapetla
  • Peer education trainings:

    • reproductive health and reproductive rights

    • sexual violence prevention and CSEC awareness

    • intimate partner violence and domestic violence

    • LGBT equality & anti-homophobia training

    • HIV/AIDS prevention

    • Women’s history

  • College Access mentoring (including financial aid/scholarship resource assistance for foster care, undocumented and LGBTQ youth)

  • Women of Color Speaker Series

  • WLP alumni College Panel

  • Women of Color in the U.S. class

  • STEM programming and mentoring

  • Media literacy, blogging and video development

  • Partnering with Young Male Scholars’ program

YOUNG MALE SCHOLARS PROGRAM

The Young Male Scholars (YMS) program provides 9-12th grade African American students with college preparation, expository writing, critical thinking and media literacy training.  Students receive mentoring, guidance and instruction on devising a college plan, developing public speaking and collaboration skills, writing critical essays and identifying long term academic/professional goals.  Students learn to identify and challenge the role stereotypes and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and community impact their lives.  Students develop and participate in men of color college forums, field trips and video projects as ongoing and culminating activities.