Jay Warren- Teamer and Ashlei

Jay Warren-Teamer, left, and Ashlei Spivey of I Be Black Girl. The group has raised $49,000 for projects and programs benefiting black women and girls.

Ashlei Spivey was acquainted with black women who have positively influenced her life when she was growing up in north Omaha.

She had a burning desire to give back to the community that she loved. In the fall of 2017, she used social media to invite other black women to join her cause.

Spivey hosted a brunch, and she was ecstatic when 80 women attended.

When Spivey realized her dream of providing a community initiative designed by black women for black women to empower one another, she invited other women to be on her advisory committee, which now numbers nine.

The collective group — called I Be Black Girl (IBBG) — works to grow through safe spaces for education and explorations, connect through mixers and organic relationships, and to give through collective investments.

Among some of their happenings are networking sessions that allow black women and girls to connect for professional and personal development.

They have talk-back sessions where they share opinions and thoughts and ask questions during professionally led group conversations.

They also have “mama meetups” that provide space for mothers and caretakers to connect, unwind and host child-friendly events.

The group is open to more ideas that will enhance the lives of black females and has in mind spreading the idea across the nation so other black females can experience this support.

For their philanthropic giving circle, the women had an initial goal of raising $10,000. The response was overwhelming and, much to their delight, they raised $49,000. The Lozier Foundation gave a donation in honor of Tulani Grundy Meadows, and Bank of the West also donated to the cause. This part of the organization is called I Be Black Girls Gives, and Jay Warren-Teamer leads that division.

Jill Heggen, communications director of the Women’s Fund of Omaha said, “The Women’s Fund of Omaha is proud to serve as their fiscal sponsor. Grant applications are open to the public for programs and projects supporting black women and girls. IBBGives voting members will decide which projects will be funded.”

Grant applications are available until Friday, Warren-Teamer said. After the 76 voting members decide who will receive funding, there will be an announcement and celebration in June for the people selected.

The grant application is on the group’s website, IBBGomaha.com.

On April 6, a networking mixer is planned from 2 to 5 p.m. at the AIM Institute at 1905 Harney St. Tickets can be purchased for $5 at the above website.

Spivey, who was born and reared in the heart of north Omaha, is so excited to be part of giving back to the community, especially to African-American females.

She graduated from North High School, obtained a bachelor’s degree from historically black Jackson State University and received her master’s degree at the University of Texas. She is a program officer at the Peter Kiewit Foundation.

“I have a passion for helping my community and dismantling racism,” Spivey said. “But the most important thing in my life is being the mother of my handsome little boy Naasir, and guardian of my amazing sister Yaasmyn.”

Warren-Teamer is also an Omaha native. Giving back to the community is core to who she is. She has worked professionally in the nonprofit/philanthropy sectors for the past 10 years and has served on many boards and committees. Currently, she works for Mutual of Omaha in community affairs.

It takes the love of people like Ashlei Spivey and Jay Warren-Teamer to start a movement such as this and touch the lives of more than 700 members — and countless community members.

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