This Dynamic Social Club For Black Women Is All About Authentic Sisterhood, Connection, And Community

Carmen Aziz

Finding friends and establishing authentic connections as an adult can be difficult, especially after the pandemic, given that many of us struggle to become more social after experiencing long periods of isolation. Carmen Aziz is here to help us discover new friendships that are fulfilling and, most importantly, fun. The Howard University alumna is the founder of The Black Girl Social Club (BGSC) and its nonprofit arm, BGSC Jr. (a non-profit organization for girls ages 11-21 who are in the quest to learn about healthy and beneficial friendships early on). In addition to chapters nationwide and globally, they have established a conference to convene, have fellowship, and enjoy each other. Aziz also spearheads The Friendly Black Girls Podcast, which is dedicated to understanding Black women’s friendships’ nuanced components and intricacies.

In 2019, Aziz and twelve of her close girlfriends had a memorable girl’s night on New Year’s Eve. Through the healing conversations, guided meditation, and laughter, Aziz realized that this connection was necessary for Black women to not only express themselves freely and openly but also have a safe space dedicated to healing, personal growth, nurturing relationships, and low-pressure communal activities without the fear and judgment that’s, unfortunately, part of other social clubs and some aspects of women relationships.

Driven by her desire to perpetuate the warmth and solidarity experienced that evening, Aziz birthed The Black Girl Social Club. The following year, Aziz began developing BGSC’s infrastructure. As we all know, the beginning of 2020 was the start of the pandemic, which provided Aziz and her friends with pathways to combat loneliness among Black women and encourage them to make friends. Her idea eventually morphed into a trailblazing member-only club encouraging women in different stages of their lives – including those post-college, in thriving careers, who’d moved to new cities or over the age of 50 years old – to embark on creating and initiating new platonic female relationships, right in their local area.

Fast forward four years, and BGSC has evolved from virtual meetups (due to COVID) to curated in-person connections, strengthening community ties through real-life engagements and activities. She and her members have pioneered a one-of-a-kind, contemporary sanctuary that prioritizes face-to-face interactions and the holistic well-being of its members. The BGSC has over 3,000 members across different cities globally, and new chapters are often established monthly.

Her love of Black women motivates Aziz to build this illustrious network, which is ultimately part of the BGSC mission. She believes that Black women are the blueprint, trendsetters, and those who effortlessly empower and inspire others. “Black women have always been the ones who have given me almost every opportunity I’ve had. So, when people talk about black women in a negative way, I can’t relate. What I love most about us is that we inspire eachother; we’re also dependable, reliable, and relatable,” she shared with ESSENCE.

Aziz continued, “The foundation of what we do is ensuring that people understand that we are changing the narrative of what it means to be Black women who can work together and share the same space. At times, we all get a bad rap and receive negative assumptions about not getting along, so the mission is to change the narrative of what it means to be in the same space as other Black women.” 

With this social club’s organic but instantaneous growth, one wonders how it became so massive.

Aziz’s answer is pretty straightforward: establishing authentic connections nationally. When thinking of how to grow the network, she reached out to her girlfriends across the United States to tell them her plans. “We started here in Atlanta, but I reached out to the women I knew in Washington DC, New York, and Richmond, Virginia, and everyone that I spoke to was so excited about the concept, and they wanted to create a chapter in their city,” she exclaimed.

This Dynamic Social Club For Black Women Is All About Authentic Sisterhood, Connection, And Community

The BGSC also has a Sacramento Chapter, where Christa Lee has recently taken the helm as the President, as she found the connections she made within the social club life-changing and fulfilling. “Moving across the country, back home to be close to family, and then going straight into quarantine during the pandemic left me feeling alone and isolated. Finding the Black Girl Social Club (BGSC) after the quarantine ended changed my life as I found a group of women who were similar to me, as I love to get out of the house and be social with like-minded women,” she told ESSENCE.

This Dynamic Social Club For Black Women Is All About Authentic Sisterhood, Connection, And Community
Christa Lee, BGSC Sacramento Chapter

Lee continued, “At the very first event hosted by BGSC, I met friends, developed relationships, and formed bonds with strangers who are now my sister friends. BGSC enhanced my life tremendously!”

As the incoming President of the Sacramento Chapter, she’s excited to continue what the previous leadership started with her Vice President, Carmen Crenshaw, by her side. Crenshaw also sat at her table at the very first BGSC event she attended. 

Lee informed us that the BGSC members communicate via GroupMe to plan and schedule monthly events. They also conduct surveys to learn the group’s interests and needs and discuss all their plans at monthly Chapter Meetings.

BGSC’s ultimate goal is to create a safe space for Black women. They focus on tackling mental, physical, and emotional health as a community while building excellent relationships, and it’s safe to say they are doing just that in their respective cities. 

The social club is on a mission to positively influence the lives of Black women through social engagement, leading to happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. Loneliness can impact individuals of all ages, but it can be particularly challenging for Black women who may face unique social, cultural, and economic barriers. The BGSC recognizes these challenges and offers a solution through its social club, providing a space for genuine, face-to-face communication and connection. This initiative addresses its members’ mental, physical, and emotional well-being and challenges. It changes the narrative surrounding the interactions of Black women, promoting a culture of integrity, dignity, and structured organization.

Learn more about the social club here.

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