About Us

Combining The Peforming Arts & Self Awareness/ Empowerment Since 2000

Global Girls is a youth engagement and performing arts organization empowering African American girls originally on Chicago’s south side, and now throughout Illinois and in East Africa.
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 create 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 January 21, 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. In November 2023, I traveled to Tanzania and Kenya and met with our new partners. Global Girls is becoming truly “global” and the best is yet to come.   


Because of your support, we are on the path to engage over 2,500 youth and adults in 2023! 


Please attend our anniversary celebration either in person or on Facebook Live, January 21st at 1pm, Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel. You’ll hear from the board of directors, see young women who started Global Girls in the early 2000s, see our current participants perform and here exciting details for our new programs. 


As the actor said in The Green Mile, “You’re either getting busy living or getting busy dying.” Global Girls is ALIVE AND WELL!

Marvinetta Penn
Global Girls Founder and Executive Director


Creola Hampton,          Chair

Harry Mays,                   Vice Chair

Lafayette Ford,              Treasurer

Vanessa Imani,              Secretary


Marvinetta Woodley-Penn,      Executive Director

Patricia Davis,                              Managing Director

Ryonn Gloster,                              Artistic Director

L’eesha Jackson,                         Resource Manager

Gabriel Hawkins,                      Community      Partnership Coordinator



Nonivia  Anoch

Caria Henderson

Mariama Pilcher

Gabriel Hawkins


Destiny Haynes

Talia Williams


Expansion Partners in Illinois


East St. Louis





Partners Abroad

Kenya Connect, Wamunyu, Kenya

FASDO, Dar es Salam, Tanzania

Girls First initiative, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

MudaAfrica, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Rafiki, Bagamoyo, Tanzania


Chicago Public School Partners

Avalon Elementary

Revere Elementary

Robert A. Black Elementary

Tanner Elementary



global girls funders

Our Partners

Reva & David Logan Center for the Arts

Stroger Hospital

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Goldin Peace Fellows

 A Knock at Midnight

African International House/African Fest


American Embassy Tanzania


Chicago Sister Cities

Chicago Police Department 4th District

Chicago Public Libraries

Haven Tower Senior Residence

Atlas Center


Black Start Project


Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre

Black United Fund of Illinois

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


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