U.S. G.I.R.L.S. Jacksonville, Florida

U.S. G.I.R.L.S. Jacksonville, Florida
Business Name: U.S. G.I.R.L.S. Jacksonville, Florida
Date Founded or Anniversary: U.S.G.I.R.L.S. Interview conducted by Founding Members: Karen Lewis, Jennie Blue, Valerie Jefferson and Ardee Harris. Unique, Sophisticated, Girlfriends Inspirational Reading and Literary Society, located in Jacksonville, Florida formed in October 2004.

It all began with an email from founding member, Karen Lewis, in September 2004 entitled: “Calling All Bookworms.” With the new phenomena of book clubs forming throughout the city, Karen visited several, with intentions of joining, but was not impressed with any of them. She called upon her friend, Jennie who was in another book club and her sister-in-law Ardee “Dee” to consider forming a book club. Jennie then called her friend, Valerie who was also in a book club at the time.
Long Business Description:

U.S.G.I.R.L.S. Interview conducted by Founding Members: Karen Lewis, Jennie Blue, Valerie Jefferson and Ardee Harris. Unique, Sophisticated, Girlfriends Inspirational Reading and Literary Society, located in Jacksonville, Florida formed in October 2004.

It all began with an email from founding member, Karen Lewis, in September 2004 entitled: “Calling All Bookworms.” With the new phenomena of book clubs forming throughout the city, Karen visited several, with intentions of joining, but was not impressed with any of them. She called upon her friend, Jennie who was in another book club and her sister-in-law Ardee “Dee” to consider forming a book club. Jennie then called her friend, Valerie who was also in a book club at the time.

Karen hosted our first meeting in October of 2004. During this meeting, the four of us formed by-laws for our book club and gave suggestions for a name. We were nameless and simply referred to ourselves as “the book club” until 2007, when Karen came up with our clever name and acronym “U.S. G.I.R.L.S.” During the formation meeting we also agreed that we would not elect officers, and preferred to have the “Founding Members” designated as the governing body.  We currently have nine active members.

We are all professional women of color; our youngest member in her early 40s. We have various undergraduate and graduate degrees, and possess strong, diverse personalities which always make for an interesting meeting. We enjoy debating and agreeing to disagree on various book discussion topics.

BPM: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?

Founding Members: As our mission statement says, our main focus is to bring attention to issues of interest to women of color, while encouraging and increasing an appreciation for literature. Over the years we have become more than a book club. We are not only “black women who read” but we are have also extended our involvement through book drives and other community outreach ventures. We feel that those watching in the community see us an active group of black women operating with a spirit of excellence in our endeavor to uplift, inspire, promote and encourage women both young and old, while building lifelong friendships and relationships.   Website: http://usgirls04.wix.com/usgirls