theGrio’s 100: Nerfertiti Martin and Emily Carpenter’s girl power

theGRIO's 100 - Emily Carpenter embodies the best spirit of her generation...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Who are Nefertiti Martin and Emily Carpenter?

Nefertiti and Emily are youth activists who are making a difference in New York and the world, with an emphasis on empowering girls like them. Nefertiti is a self-identified “queer young woman from the Bronx” who serves as the community organizer for the non-profit Girls for Gender Equity (GGE). She’s a tireless activist for LGBT youth and communities of color. Emily, a former Sisters in Strength (SIS) youth activist with Girls for Gender Equity, is a high school senior, youth activist, playwright and poet.

Why are they on theGrio’s 100?

Nefertiti and Emily embody the best attributes of their generation: creativity, fearlessness, and a powerful belief that each individual can change the world. Nefertiti has practiced her activism as a member of a number of organizations, including The Possibility Project, FIERCE, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, In the Life Media, the Lesbian Cancer Initiative and Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience, as well as GGE.

Emily, who attends New York’s School of the Future, has been a guest on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris Perry” show, talking about modern-day feminism, and the importance of involving teens and young women in the national dialogue about politics, education and reproductive rights. Her unique personal style has caught the attention of fellow local artists and photographers, and she has been an Urban Word poetry finalist at the legendary Apollo theater.

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CGE, the organization they have in common, is a leading source of hope and empowerment for young women experiencing everything from bullying to abuse to the day to day challenges to young women’s self-esteem.

What’s next for these two young women?

Like many high school seniors, Emily is awaiting word on college admissions, and working on creating workshops that help foster human connection and communication. Nefertiti is organizing for Girls for Gender Equity and embracing her new community in Brooklyn, New York.

Learn more about Girls for Gender Equity here. Follow them on Twitter at @GGENYC.