As International Day of the Girl approaches this Thursday, October 11, the women of Girls Who Code are taking a special approach to the holiday. Starting on Monday, each day this week GWC is releasing a new installment of a visual album they’re calling Sisterh>>d, which celebrates sisterhood and aims to empower girls around the world. Created with an advisory council of 50 girls from around the world, each day brings a new aspect of Sisterhood to the forefront, starting with the album’s “Anthem,” a 2018 remake of the activist anthem “Ooh Child,” which was released yesterday, and continuing all week.
“We embarked on this project for our girls—who we already know are capable of changing the world,” said Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani in a statement. “We created this album to remind them that they have a Sisterhood behind them—for support, laughter, and celebration—while they pursue that change.”
Today, Teen Vogue is debuting the second part of the album, a track called “Healing” featuring Lizzo, Madame Gandhi, and Seattle’s Northside Step Team. The track shares a relatable message for any person striving for progress, whether in activist work or simply living your day-to-day life.
“I don’t know how we got to this place,” Lizzo says in the video, “depleted, defeated, trying to be the change. …Sometimes it’s overwhelming, depressing, distressing. Because progress is a complex thing. They say be louder, be bolder, but that work is heavy on our shoulders. It took me a long time to understand that you don’t have to stand alone to take a stand. We may struggle alone, but together we heal.”
“I just always believed that when women came together and conspired together, the universe would bend for them like it does for no one else,” Lizzo told Teen Vogue about the sisterhood message behind the album. “When me and my girls ask the universe for something, we will get it tomorrow, because the universe wants women to succeed.”
Though it was planned well in advance, the track feels especially poignant as, once again, women across the country have come together to protest the treatment of sexual assault survivors and Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
“The urgency of the message has increased over these past few weeks,” “Healing” directors Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer told Teen Vogue. “While we edited the video, the Kavanaugh hearings played live in the other room. This specific moment adds potency and immediacy to ‘Healing’ and reminds us that we have a responsibility to amplify others’ voices through the work we create.”
“I think we need this movement of Sisterhood, and we need to connect it to healing,” Lizzo told Teen Vogue. “You always want to be there, you always want to present, you want to be on the frontline- you want to always be ready to serve your sisters. But how are you going to do that if your body won’t even allow you? How are you going to do that when your mind is so stressed out you can’t even leave the house? When you’re so tired that you collapse? How are you going do it? I think now more than ever we need to remind ourselves that self-care and healing in community is so important—and Girls Who Code is making sure that girls around the world are getting that message.”
The video’s other participants are well-versed in the importance of sisterhood as well. All of the step dancers featured are teen members of Seattle’s Northside Step Team, and through their teamwork, they’ve become sisters in their own right.
“My teammates and I are sisters! We work together, love each other, respect each other, correct each other, and push each other towards excellence,” said 15-year-old Mikayla Weary. “We set a goal and realize that everyone must be ‘all in’ in order for us to be successful. We’ve been taught by our coaches to support each other no matter what! We work through our mistakes and leave no one behind. If one member is successful, we celebrate them. If a member is struggling, we hold them up. This is true on and off the performance stage. These are lessons that we’ll need for our entire lives.”
You can find the entire visual album as it’s rolled out this week at girlswhocode.com/sisterhood.