“Now is the time to support a black woman!” This is the resounding proclamation of changemaker Carmen Gaines, a woman committed to uplifting African American women, and positively impacting their health trajectory. A native of Cincinnati, Carmen obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati and has spent over a decade as a mentor to high school students, ensuring that they have accessible postsecondary options. Carmen has mentored over 80 girls, 23 college graduates, and helped many women enter the workforce. Her work with the Greater Cincinnati Urban League for the last 5 years as the Youth To Work (Y2WK) Program Manager has resulted in over 1,000 youth with summer employment. She also launched a girls’ leadership program at a local high school which set in motion the building blocks of what Carmen believes is her life’s work. The program focused on the importance of education, self-care, and, leadership.
Carmen nurtures a deeply-rooted belief in her social responsibility to relieve the plight of African American women who are combated with the intersecting oppressions of racism, classism, and sexism. This belief fueled her creation of the Women’s Liberation Workshop. “I want women to flourish while creating a sister circle that will allow us network and access one another's skills and talents, and utilize information as a way to improve our interactions with each other and the narrative surrounding our community,” Carmen asserts. She adds, “Teaching women the importance of using US and understanding OUR powers of strength, perseverance, and creativity as a collective will allow us to change the world.”
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