Chicas Rockeras South East Los Angeles (CRSELA) is a social justice-oriented organization that organizes music and empowerment camps for girls and gender-expansive youth in South East Los Angeles. You can find their official site here.
At their summer camp, participants typically learn how to play an instrument, form bands, write songs, and perform a concert at the end of the session. Beyond music, the camp also provides workshops on various topics like body positivity, self-defense, and zine-making to promote empowerment, creativity, and social consciousness.
The organization strives to provide a safe and supportive space where participants can express themselves, gain confidence, and develop collaboration skills.
Music as a way to strengthen marginalized groups
Music is a tool to help individuals express themselves, build confidence, and develop a sense of community. For young girls and transgender girls of color, participating in music-related activities can be a great instrument to strengthen both individuals and the community.
A community of self-Expression and confidence
Music is a form of art that allows people to express their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Writing, performing, or engaging with music can help girls and transgender girls of color tell their unique stories and share their perspectives.
Learning to play an instrument or sing, forming a band, writing a song—these activities often require stepping out of comfort zones. Overcoming the challenges involved can lead to a significant boost in self-confidence.
Participating in music-related activities, such as being part of a band or a music camp, can help individuals form connections and build supportive communities. Shared experiences can lead to friendships and a sense of belonging, it can also be enabling and inspiring.
Musical skills are empowering
Music has been historically used as a medium for social change and protest. By engaging in music, young girls and transgender girls of color can find their voices and express their thoughts on social issues, leading to personal empowerment and potentially influencing their communities. Learning to play an instrument or write songs can provide practical skills like discipline, perseverance, and creativity, which can be applied in other areas of life.
The more young girls and transgender girls of color become involved in music, the more visibility and representation they create for themselves in the industry. This can inspire others and challenge societal norms and stereotypes. Music has also been known to have therapeutic effects, helping individuals manage stress, express emotions, and improve mental health.
Programs like Chicas Rockeras SELA leverage these benefits by creating a safe and inclusive environment where participants can explore their musical talents, express their identities, and grow their confidence.