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Founder, Mariah Williams

The truth is, I am on a journey, and I want some Black girls with me!

Born and raised in Harlem, New York to a single mother, I have always been passionate about building meaningful connections with the women around me. From the time I was in elementary school, I was aware of the energy I felt being surrounded by Black girls and I have been fortunate enough to have a diverse group of Black women in my life to provide support. I attended a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania where I met some of the dopest Black girls from all walks of life who are my friends to this day. After graduating, I attended the University of Richmond where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minored in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies. After graduating from the University of Richmond, I moved to Washington, DC to work at a consulting firm for several years.

I recently moved back to the City of Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University where I am pursing my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. I believe that the voices of women of color must be included in the planning process to ensure that there are inclusive spaces for Black women and that our unique experiences are acknowledged and written into the fabric of our communities.

No matter where I have been in life, physically, emotionally and spirituality, I found that I always sought out the presence of other Black women - for mentorship, support, a soundboard and even a shoulder to cry on. Having been in predominantly White spaces academically and professionally, there has been no greater feeling than being surrounded by Black women. I believe that this can be said not just for myself but all the Black women I encounter. We need each other, and we do ourselves a great disservice when we think we do not.  The energy and spirit of Black women is like no other and I believe that it is important for us to share that with each other. We are often asked to be everything for everyone else and forget to be anything to ourselves, and sometimes we need help realizing that.

I look forward to all of the wonderful Black girls and women I meet on this journey! In the words of our girl Solange Knowles, this sh*t is for US! Thanks for joining the Black Girls Meet Up movement.