About Us

Combining Art & Education Since 2000

Global Girls is a youth engagement and performing arts organization empowering African American girls and women primarily on Chicago’s south side.
Focusing on arts education and presentation, social/emotional and leadership development, we facilitate school-based and after school programs,
work with youth in partnership with other organizations, conduct parent and professional development workshops and present participant-driven theatre.

Our Story

In 2000, Global Girls, Inc. received 501(c)3 status.  The work began with only eight girls meeting in a home basement. Today, we’ve realized a dream: our own office, rehearsal and performance space, The Global Studio, located in the heart of the community we serve.

Using the youth engagement paradigm, (people involved in responsible, challenging activities to create positive social change by planning, making decisions and taking actions that affect themselves and others), Global Girls has directly impacted the lives of more than 20,000 girls and women.

Our Impact

Annually, we provide opportunities for
more than 500 girls and women to:
● practice analytical and creative thinking,
● participate in female centered spaces,
● engage in self-expression through story-telling, acting and dance,
● grow as performers, independent
thinkers, innovators and conscious
citizens of the world.

Our Expansion

Global Girls is not only a vital contributor to the artistic lifeblood of Chicago’s south side but also has an international reach. Arts exchange projects enabled 27 south side girls to travel and work with other girls in Accra, Ghana; Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya; Tamil Nadu, India and Grenada, West Indies.

As Global Girls approaches our 23rd Anniversary in January 2023, we pause to say Thank You to all of you who have read our posts, viewed our pictures and donated to our mission, our programs and our youth. I will be traveling to Tanzania in November to meet with our partner, MudaAfrica, along with some of our youth, staff and invested members of the community.  Because of your support, youth in Chicago and Tanzania will learn from each others’ cultures, share hopes and dreams, and maybe teach us adults a thing or two about looking beyond our faults and seeing the common light that shines within!
Marvinetta Penn
Global Girls Founder and Executive Director

Our Board

Saran Horwell-Dunmore Chair
Harry Mays Vice Chair
Lafayette Ford Treasurer
Vanessa Henderson Secretary
Donna Beasley Board Member
Dafina Dunmore Board Member
Creola Hampton Board Member
Francis Pratt Board Member
Crystal Stevenson Board Member
Dorothy Thompson Board Member
Tonay Tucker Board Member

Our Staff

Marvinetta Woodley-Penn Executive Director
Patricia Davis Managing Director
Ryonn Gloster Program Manager
Gabriel Hawkins Teaching Artist
Caria Henderson Teaching Artist

Our Funders

Our Partners

Stroger Hospital

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Goldin Peace Fellows

 A Knock at Midnight

African International House/African Fest


Chicago Sister Cities

Chicago Police Department 4th District

Chicago Public Libraries

Haven Tower Senior Residence

Atlas Center


Black Start Project


Woodlawn Women’s Assoc.

WTTW Channel 11

8th Ward Democratic Org.


8151 S. South Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL  60617

Call Us

(773) 902-2359

Email Us